Sometimes we are so worried about what our kids will become that we forget we have the power to mold them in our hands. Like we can sit back and let our children whine and complain about all the things they think they deserve or teach them to accept life as it is and work towards a better tomorrow. Today I will share with you how to harness the power of gratitude in their young minds irrespective of which age your kid is as long as they can speak and understand. A gratitude journal for kids will achieve just that and more.
What is Gratitude?
Gratus is the Latin word from where gratitude is borrowed. It means showing appreciation. Most religions and traditional spiritualists over the years have taught gratitude to multiple generations. And, in recent times, psychologists have also joined the bandwagon; preaching the importance of gratitude. What are you grateful for?
Do you know that you can impart the same practice to your young ones using a gratitude journal for kids?
You read that right.
So Why Gratitude Journaling?
Your child will enjoy the following benefits once you start practicing gratitude:
#1: Better relationships
Acknowledging help or support from friends can open up new opportunities. This is especially important for introverted kids or kids who are naturally aggressive. Once they start gratitude journaling, they open up to saying “thank you” even for small favors from their peers. In turn, they win more friends. Now, who doesn’t want their kid to be popular for all the good reasons?
#2: Improved psychological health
In addition to winning more friends over, a gratitude journal for kids can help them reduce toxic emotions. These include frustrations that result in resentment, envy (because they think their peers are more blessed than they are) and regret among others.
You see, when they learn to count their blessings, they will focus on them more than focusing on what they don’t have. So, each time your son says, “mommy Tony has a digital bike”, open the gratitude journal on the day they were grateful for their old-school bike as a reminder.
#3: Better Performance in school
Research has proven that gratitude increases mental strength. In addition, when your kid has little to worry about, they sleep better. And good sleeping patterns have also been linked to higher IQs. So, it’s a win-win for you.
#4: More empathy and reduced aggression
There is this category of kids who are sadly referred to as “bullies”. A gratitude journal for kids will tone the aggression down by introducing them to empathy. Consequently, they behave in a prosocial manner even when those around them behave less kind. See such environments make them hostile but with gratitude journaling, they will look at the positive side instead of seeking revenge. And don’t we all want that for our kids?
So now that we agree, let me share with you how to start journaling with your children.
6 Ways to Introduce Gratitude Journaling for Kids
#1: Set the Example
Kids at ages 2-6 learn by watching adults. They tend to copy paste what mommy or daddy does. So before you go bonkers with a list of gratitude journaling instructions, show them your gratitude journal first. Other than setting an example, your gratitude journal will also teach you and impact the same benefits you wish to instill in your kids. Because, let’s be honest, you can’t convince your little one that a gratitude journal for kids will have a positive impact unless you experience it first, right?
#2: Invest In an Age Appropriate Gratitude Journal
You will find several gratitude journals; some free and others available online for easy download. The online options also come with customizable templates so you can design a journal that your kids can relate to. Just make it simple to follow and interesting to work with. While at it, include a few prompts.
“What made you happy today?”
“What do you wish for tomorrow?”
Such prompts make it easier for children to follow along on their own.
#3: Drawings and Pictures
Kids under 8 years are visual and creative with colors. If you have a camera, let them take photos randomly. However, there’s a catch: only when they are happy. At the end of the day, review these photos, print them and stick them in their journal with a sentence or two to remind them of these occasions.
The idea is to create a gratitude journal for kids that they can grow with. So three years from now, they will look at these photos in their lowest moments and smile.
In the absence of a camera, you can encourage them to draw pictures of what made them happy during the day. Was it their pet or a walk in the park? Then let them draw their pet or the park and add a description of the exact event? A few colors will bring these drawings to life.
#4: Creative Affirmations
Above 5 years of age, you can teach your child to manifest their life. Start with the basic things they understand. And when these affirmations come to pass, journal them together. See the mind is as powerful as our creativity. Teach your kids the law of attraction as early as now.
#5: Sing Along Songs
YouTube is full of gratitude songs for kids. However, you don’t have to stop there. Create your own lyrics and sing along each day before you go to bed. The good thing about songs is they are easily replayed in the subconscious mind even in sleep. And the secret to effective gratitude journaling is repetition. See what I’m doing?
#6: Poetry and Short Stories
For kids above the age of 8 years, engage them in lengthy scripts. By this age, they are already writing academic compositions anyway, so why not channel that creativity in their gratitude journals?
A gratitude journal for kids sets a strong foundation for a positive mindset. See we all need positivity to make it through each day. However, with gratitude, you’re not merely surviving the day but enjoying and looking forward to each moment in your life. Let your child experience the same from a tender age and they will effortlessly transit to adulthood as happy and responsible people.