Teaching Kids Gratitude
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." -Albert Einstein
I tried to teach my kids a gratitude practice from a young age. I bought them cute notebooks and asked them to write five things that they were grateful for. I wanted this to be a daily routine and thought it would help them feel better about themselves and their world.
I had started a gratitude journaling practice in my 20's and it changed my whole perspective on life. When I felt down, I would search for the pieces of my day that I could be grateful for, even if it was as basic as a hug or a smile from a friend. When I felt amazing, I would have a ton of things to feel grateful for and writing them down made me feel even better. Win/Win, right?
The notebooks didn't work out as I planned. The kids would stare at me with blank expressions and gaze around their rooms to look for the easiest answers. My older son, Jason, would write, "I'm grateful for my pen."
or, "I'm grateful for my desk." He just wanted to get his assignment done and get on with whatever he wanted to do. Oh boy... I turned a gratitude practice into a homework assignment! BORING!!!!
When I came up with the idea to create, "Express Yourself! Joyful Journaling for Kids," it was because I wanted to make gratitude journaling fun. I wanted to inspire kids to start a gratitude practice at a younger age then myself, so that they would have tools to feel better about themselves. I knew in order to engage kids, I would have to give them a starting point. I came up with over 50 prompts to helps spark the feelings of gratitude. The pages are colorful and the topics are friendly and easy to bring in feelings of gratitude.
The pages are created where you only have to write one word or draw one small picture
that reminds you of something you feel grateful for. They are called, "One Word Jots". No full sentences required! Just a quick jot and hopefully, your heart will fill with the feelings of gratitude.
Gratitude is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced. This is an introduction to a gratitude practice. The prompts are there to help, but if you have your own ideas and don't need the prompts, that is GREAT! You are well on your way to your own unique gratitude practice. You can cross out the topics and make your own or further in the book, there are some blank pages that say, "I am grateful for___________," and you can fill out your own.
I truly hope that this inspires a lifelong gratitude practice. I know that when we feel better about ourselves, we can help others feel better too, and make our world a better and happier place.
Let me know how your gratitude practice is going. Let me know how your kids gratitude practice is going. It's for everyone... not just kids!