Focusing on the Blessings Instead of Stressing

Right around this time of year, I often forget to stop and acknowledge how much I've been blessed. My head is swarming with an endless to-do list, and while I'm planning for what's to come, I keep looking back and evaluating what I've done. Parents, I know you're there with me. The pressure I often put on myself to be the best at my job and be the best parent in the world can be a little overwhelming, and it keeps me awake at night. I have a sign in my house to constantly remind me, "Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful." Sometimes I need that kind of reassurance.

I guess that's why Thanksgiving couldn't come at a more perfect time. It allows me to look at the bigger picture and to focus on what really matters. For me, it's God, my family and my students. Without these three things, my life would be pretty glum.

Also, I'm compelled to share with my students that I'm thankful for them because they are part of what gives my life even more purpose. They are part of the reason why I am motivated to get out of bed each day and do what I do. Our children need to know how important they are to us, and how valuable they are - we need to let them know that we're thankful for them. During these fragile junior high years, they hear so many negative words from other students. They can also be a little too hard on themselves - whether it's the student who thinks she's a failure if she doesn't get an A in every class or the student who tells himself that he'll never be anything better than he is now, so why try?

Next week, while you're giving thanks for your many blessings, let your child know that he/she is one of the greatest blessings you've ever received. I want to share with you this list I found. Here are 40 Phrases that Every Child Needs to Hear.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!