Keeping a Gratitude Journal with Kids

gratitude journaling with kids

I have a confession. I started a gratitude journal with my kids and let it fizzle out. Twice. I had planned to write as a family at dinner time. We wrote a few times over the course of a few weeks and unfortunately, it ran aground.

So why am I starting a gratitude journal again?  Aside from the third time being the charm, we need it. I need it. My kids are getting older (8 and 10 in a month!) and they are growing up in such a fast-paced, narcissistic world. As much as I try to go against the grain(Montessori school, no video games) it is all around us and unavoidable.

I am noticing that kids are not interacting with each other. Conversations with friends are short or non-exsistant. There is a lot more parallel play, even in the elementary years.  Perhaps, focusing on being grateful will even lessen some of the bickering and fighting between two growing boys in our house. In short, I want my boys to think of other people, to learn to be more empathetic, kind, and compassionate. The journal will help me to remember to model these behaviors more, as well.

So what will be different about this time? I am looking at the gratitude journals a bit differently. Yes,it is about being thankful for what we already have. We’ll take our journals on adventures near and far and record things we notice that are beautiful, that bring us joy. It is a way of opening our eyes to the amazing world we live in. It is a way to get out of our heads and be grateful for many things, big and small.

But we will not just stop there.  I want them to notice people. We will be saying thank you, giving compliments, showing our appreciation to family, friends, and even perfect strangers.  I have some fun activities planned (stay tuned!) that we can write about after the fact, as well.

We will probably go thru a few versions of our gratitude journal. We started small, with some blank books from Target’s Dollar Spot. I am letting my kids take some ownership, too. They decorated them as they pleased. I am not being picky about handwriting or how they write on the page-legibility is the only criteria.

Want to join us?  Need some help?  Grab my new free mini e-book about creating your own gratitude journal when you sign up for my newsletter.  We would love for you to share some of your entries on Instagram, using #great!ful.  Show us your journals, where you are writing,  or who you are writing with! We’ll see you there!