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Thanksgiving: 5 tough parenting questions asked and answered

This week’s blog post is by The Paternity Test co-host Matt Boresi, who lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago with his wife (“Professor Foster”) and their 6-year old daughter Viva, who is so inquisitive she can probably turn Arbor day into an epistemological quandary.

I thought Thanksgiving was supposed to be the easy holiday for talking to your kids. Easter and Christmas raise thorny theological questions and Christmas brings up a world of questions about materialism and priorities. Halloween brings up stranger danger as you avoid razor apples and Demodogs. Patriotic holidays raise questions of national identity and constitutional rights. Thanksgiving was supposed to be about graciousness and poultry.

Turns out there are no easy holidays for talking to your kids.

Yesterday I visited Windy City LIVE to demonstrate some Thanksgiving cooking hacks. (Check out my segment at the link!) In preparation, I stuffed a turkey with my intellectually curious Kindergartener, Viva. Here are some of the questions that came up, my thought process and my answers to her.

Q: Thanksgiving? Who are we thanking?

If you’re religious, this is an easy three letter answer. Praise God from whom all blessings flow, and all that. If you’re more secularly minded, it becomes more complicated. I have no doubt in my heathen mind that living in a state of thankfulness is important to a happy and deliberately lead life. If we want to appreciate the wonders of the world, regardless of their origin or purpose, and treat others and the earth around us with respect and care, we need to be happy about all the “blessings” around us. The answer transcends the question: We need to be thankful for our fingers and toes, our loved ones, the sunrise and the rainfall, for planetary motion and wave/particle duality, for the seasons, and art, and Netflix and the unique position of being conscious to observe all of it. But to whom do we offer this…

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