Is your child struggling to appreciate the things in their life? Or maybe they are having a hard time seeing the good? It may be time to start a gratitude journal for kids and watch how it changes their perspective.
What is a Gratitude Journal?
A few years ago, life was in one of those tough times when more seemed to go wrong than it did right. Not only did it impact my outlook on life, but it also made a difference in how my children responded to situations and other people.
Instead of the quick to forgive, generous hearts that we had spent so much time nurturing in them, there was an abundance of complaining and attitudes that were anything but loving.
So, we decided to do something radical – for us anyway – and start gratitude journals.
A gratitude journal is a book where you make daily entries listing the things that you are thankful for that happened that day. They can be fancy, leather-bound journals with heavy pages, or they can be the 10-cent notebooks you get at the store during Back to School shopping.
There is no right or wrong type of gratitude journal. Whatever type of notebook you decide to use is the perfect one.
The idea is that at the end of each day you sit quietly and reflect on the good that has happened throughout the day. It might be a great day with an abundance of things to be thankful for or it might have been a day when you are just thankful your bed is soft and cozy. It does not matter how many things you write down; it is the act of actually writing it that makes all the difference.
You can write in sentences, paragraphs, numbered lists, or even draw or sketch the things you want to recognize from the day. There is no one way to keep a gratitude journal. You do what feels right for you.
Benefits of Keeping a Gratitude Journal
The biggest benefit to keeping a gratitude journal is that it puts you on the lookout for things to be grateful for throughout the day. Instead of focusing on the things that have gone wrong, you are constantly searching for things big and small that can make their way into your journal that evening.
Suddenly, you will find that your outlook and perspective has shifted to one where all of the good is noticed. When you focus on the good, you tend to see more of it. And when you see more of it, you become a happier, more optimistic person.
Who knew so much good could come out of a simple list of things that you are thankful for each day?!
Do Gratitude Journals Work for Kids?
I knew the positive impact that journaling had for me, but what was it doing for my children? Do gratitude journals work for kids too?
The answer is, unequivocally, yes.
Much like the change that I saw in myself as I started noticing and listing the good things that happened in my life, so too did my children.
They began to focus on the kindness of friends, the smiles of their teachers, the beautiful sunsets and how the days were perfect for them to play outside. Instead of putting their focus on being tired or their lunch being slightly soggy because their water bottle spilled, they focused on the good.
And that shift in focus put them in better moods and gave them a different perspective on life. They were happier, more willing to help and share, and thankful for the things, people, and opportunities in their lives.
In short, keeping a gratitude journal made them more grateful people – which is probably the greatest gift of all.
Some of Our Favorite Gratitude Journals for Kids
If we have not convinced you to start a gratitude journal with your kids, maybe these fun notebooks will sway you. They are some of our favorite ones and offer plenty of room to record the things that were such an important, positive part of the day.
Remember, a plain notebook will work fine, but these might give your kids a bit more incentive to give it a try.
The 3 Minute Gratitude Journal for Kids
This gratitude journal reminds us of a bullet journal with there being room for marking how you are feeling that day, things that you are thankful for, a person who brought you joy, and space to draw or write about the best part of the day. Each page is simple and easy on the eyes visually. It is designed for kids in second to fifth grade.
Grateful Together: A Gratitude Journal for Kids and Their Parents
This gratitude journal has space for your child and you to both write down the things you are thankful for. It is a joint journal that opens up the lines of communication and gives you insight into what the other is thinking. We liked it a lot because it helped to keep us accountable to each other for writing in it every day.
Be Grateful Gratitude Journal for Boys
There are so many beautiful, feminine gratitude journals out there that we just love, but for boys there are fewer options. Thankfully, this Be Grateful journal is perfect for elementary and middle school boys. It is designed similarly to The 3 Minute Gratitude Journal for Kids mentioned above, but it has a more masculine feel. If your boys are reluctant to write in a journal with flowers on it, this might be a great option instead.
At the end of the day, it does not matter if you are writing down what you are thankful for in a fancy, expensive journal or in a notebook from the dollar store. What matters is that you are taking the time to notice what is good about your life and writing it down.
In case you were wondering, I am thankful for you. What are you grateful for today?
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