Today we are excited to share a guest post from Growing Book by Book.
Over 12 years ago, I began intentionally naming what I was grateful for in my life. On my birthday in 2000, I began a gratitude journal.
Each day I set out to list at least five things I was grateful for in my life .
Now that I have two young sons, I want to encourage this habit. I feel that when we are grateful for what we have in our lives, we draw positive energy toward us. As children mature, they can draw pictures of things they are grateful for and then will eventually do their own writing. My hope is that my sons will continue this practice as they grow older.
So, are you ready to begin the journey of keeping a gratitude journal with kids?
5 Simple Steps to Help Your Child Start a Gratitude Journal
1. Select a beautiful well made journal. Bookstores, museum shops, Etsy and art supply stores usually have great selections. You can also utilize a composition notebook and have your child decorate the cover with stickers.
2. Get yourself a feel good writing utensil. I like to use a metallic gel pen. A fun fancy pen helps to generate interest in the project especially for reluctant writers.
3. Read a story about being thankful with your child. I like to use Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes to introduce the topic. The simple text names different things that the children are thankful during the fall season. Beautiful illustrations by Doris Barrette enhance the text.
4. Start out small. Have a conversation with your child about things they are thankful for in their lives. Here are a few prompts to help you get started.
I’m grateful for…
Thank you for…
Kids might only be able to name one or two things to start with and they might be very materialistic. That’s ok! The more they practice, the deeper their thought process will develop.
5. Schedule a set time to practice giving thanks each day. I like to do it right before bed. I know others who carry on a discussion at the dinner table. Find a time that works best for your family. When your child is having an “off” day, encourage them to reread some of the entries in their journal. What a quick pick me up!
I hope you are inspired to start gratitude journals with your children. Happy journaling!
Jodie Rodriguez is a National Board Certified teacher, reading specialist and administrator with over 17 years of experience. She currently stays at home with her two young sons. Her newest adventure is the creation of the Growing Book by Book blog dedicated to helping caregivers nurture young readers.
Photo Credits: Thank you to Amy Giziensk for sharing her DIY Notepad photos under creative commons.