Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday: Kids Gratitude Journals

Have you ever seen a group of whiny, ungrateful kids with the "gimmes"? That's exactly the direction our children were heading! Yuck!

My husband John and I started being very intentional with our kids to help them develop a genuine spirit of thankfulness. We quickly realized the importance of teaching and modeling gratitude to our kids (and just at Thanksgiving was not going to be enough!) We needed a plan!

Last summer, we started Gratitude Journals. (I picked up a whole assortment of journals from Party City for 99 Cents. You could also make your own journal by just stapling paper together. We did that when Jake was younger and we still have his!).

Each morning, the kids write (or draw) in their Gratitude Journal. I originally asked them to write/draw 5 things that they are grateful for (or want to say "thank you" to God for). And most days, it works (but not always).
For my littler ones, usually one or two pictures is what they are able to do. That's ok. Mostly I'm trying to instill a habit of stopping and reflecting on the many blessings they have in their lives. It's definitely a process, but it feels good to have started the journey.
And wouldn't that be awesome if they continue this habit into their adult years?? Oh, a mom can pray!! :)

Once a week, we sit around the table and share with each other some of the things we have listed in our journal. I think it's important for the kids to get comfortable with sharing their feelings aloud, and it's also a blessing for us to hear what we are each grateful for.

Imagine my surprise (and delight!) when I saw one of my little Sarah's drawings. She shared she is thankful for a home that is filled with love! Oh, thank You God!!

In the book of 1 Thessalonians, the apostle Paul reminds us to "give thanks in all circumstances".

In the midst of a hot, tiring, exhausting week...I'm thankful for Jesus and life in His Name, my husband/best friend John, my four precious kids that bring me so much JOY (even if they wear me out), for our home, my family that all lives so close, for ministry opportunities, the many amazing friends God has blessed me with, and His powerful Word. I could go on and on. Thank You, Lord!! I woke up tired and weary and not ready for another full day, but by stopping and listing a few of my many blessings, it has helped get my focus back Up. I'm off to go draw in my Gratitude Journal!! And that Works for Me....

What are you thankful for today?? I'd love to hear from you!!

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! Have a Wonderful, joy~filled Wednesday!!!

P.S. For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, head on over to visit Kristen at We are that Family. You'll be so glad you did! :)


Unknown said...

What a great word today! And, I love the ideas for teaching your children to be thankful!

I'm so thankful that God loves us unconditionally. I'm thankful for a faithful husband and two great kids.

Praying you'll be blessed and encouraged as you express thanks!


Anonymous said...

I love this idea!!! awesome!!

Debbie Petras said...

This is a great idea to teach children about being grateful. For me, it's been good to write a thankful Thursday post. I tend to be on the alert for things I can be thankful for.

Let'sMakeADifference said...

Such a great idea!! We'll start tomorrow!!

jj said...

Good idea. I was just dealing with this issue with one of my kids this week. Love ya.

Jennifer C. Valerie said...

That is a wonderful idea. I think I just might take it. :)

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