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Have fun and thoughtful Thanksgiving conversations

In a few days, we’ll all be celebrating that very American holiday, Thanksgiving. Teachers and students will be enjoying a well-earned break from the rigors of school. Often we’ll be spending lots of time with close friends and extended family. There are plenty of jokes about awkward Thanksgiving dinner conversations, but we’d like to suggest that you talk about healthy relationships with your family and friends.

Really, this could be fun! We swear!

Part of having healthy relationships is being willing to examine our own actions towards others. Power Up, Speak Out! believes that in healthy relationships, we treat others well. But, it’s not always easy to know what that might mean. Sometimes, we need to practice accepting when someone tells us no, or respecting someone else’s boundaries.

One easy way to think about treating others well is to discuss what we might do in certain situations. The dinner table is a great place to give your children (and even other adults) scenarios and ask them how they might deal with a hypothetical situation.

One of our many supporters recently suggested we check out The (Reformed) Idealist Mom blog. There, author Kelly Holmes suggests that having these kinds of conversations with your children can help them become more kind. She offers a free downloadable set of conversation starters. Along with scenarios, these printable cards also ask family members to think about big concepts, such as “What does it mean to be kind?” Or “What does it mean to have courage?”

You can read Kelly’s full blog entry here and download her full set of wonderful question cards by signing up to receive her newsletter. But, to give you a little taste of these family friendly conversation starters, here’s a few of our favorites:

A new kid joins your class at school. At lunch, you notice they’re sitting alone and no one is talking to them. WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

A couple of your friends are talking at lunch. “We decided that tomorrow, we’re going to wear yellow. Don’t forget, or we’ll be mad.” You don’t have anything yellow to wear because you don’t like how you look in yellow. WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Think of something you noticed recently that was courageous. TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Think of a situation where it would be okay to disagree with your parents. What about your teacher? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Imagination is a powerful tool in shaping our behavior. Asking questions that require your children to imagine themselves in situations can spark important discussions that will help your children understand what they deserve in healthy peer relationships.

So, along with your meal this year, we hope you’ll enjoy some great conversations! Happy Thanksgiving!

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