Gratitude Journals: A (Free!) Way to Teach Kids Appreciation

gratitude journal

I believe one of my biggest goals as a mother is to teach my children to appreciate what they have and help those who are less fortunate.

I’ve done a lot of things over the years to implement this. We have volunteered as the girls have gotten older; this year my oldest is eligible to be a partner with a Special Olympics participant. Last year we assisted at a few practice sessions for Special Olympics. We’ve donated items to those in need and given food to the homeless. And we talk a lot about how lucky we are and how grateful we need to be because we are healthy and happy.

To kick off the New Year I have started a new activity in our family: gratitude journals.

My daughters are old enough now to write, and even if they were a bit younger I believe I could do this activity by incorporating pictures into the journals rather than words.

I started this off by:

  • Purchasing each girl a notebook that serves as their gratitude journal.
  • Buying a packet of scrapbooking stickers for them to use as they write in their journals and/or on the cover of their journals.
  • Giving each girl a special pen to use during this activity.

Then I explained to the girls how these gratitude journals work. In our home, we will do the following:

1. Each day the girls will write down one thing for which they are grateful. This might be:

a.       Something that happened to them that day

b.      Something a friend did for them

c.       Something they have

d.      Something they did for someone else

2. The girls will explain why they are thankful for this item and then can draw a picture to illustrate it.

3. We will read over the entries (if they wish) together and talk about them.

This is not just an activity for my girls, though. I started a gratitude journal before the holidays. I did so after feeling one day aggravated about something I couldn’t do that I wanted to do. As I finished up yoga practice and did five minutes of breathing time, I remembered that all of the time we spend feeling frustrated about what we DON’T have is time we don’t have to spend feeling grateful for what we DO.

Besides, we all know how negative thoughts turn into more negative thoughts, while positive thoughts make us more positive people. So while the girls are writing in their gratitude journals each evening, I am doing the same. It’s amazing what ten or fifteen minutes of sitting down and thinking about what we are thankful for can do for your overall outlook.

Do you keep a gratitude journal? Do your children? Is this something you believe could be beneficial? 

ADVERTISEMENT

Photo via Flickr: Walt Stoneburner

What do you think?

Gratitude Journals: A (Free!) Way to Teach Kids Appreciation

Kathy Murdock works as a full time writer and web designer. Recently planted in the middle of the deep south from the busy streets of Los Angeles, when she's not coding Wordpress websites or writing about women in business and thrifty motherhood, Kathy spends time photographing alligators, playing with her family, and running. ... More

Tell us what you think!

Advertisement
[x]
×

EverydayFamily.com Week-by-Week Newsletter

Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year! Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year!

Due Date or Baby's Birth Date


By clicking the "Join Now" button you are agreeing to the terms of use and privacy policy.

Send this to a friend