“I’m grateful for family and friends,” was my 7-year-old son’s last gratitude journal entry at the end of the school year.
Each night, before I turn on his meditation music he writes something he is grateful for on a notebook that stays on his nightstand. We started this routine at the beginning of the school year and by Christmas, he started to skip days which turned into weeks.
Around spring break, he suddenly started to write entries in his journal. Things happened during the break that inspired him and the journal was still sitting right by his bed to help him capture the moment.
He finished the school year with intermittent entries.
By not putting too much pressure on him keeping a journal and starting with a simple approach, he was able to create a journal that he can share and reminisce about the 2ndgrade.
Gratitude Journal is a book for recognizing, appreciating, and recording pleasant occurrences, blessings, and moments of authentic happiness and contentment.
- Maintaining a journal might bring a new and redemptive frame of reference to difficult life situations. It also helps you create meaning when you place everyday experiences within a framework of gifts and gratefulness.
- In a study, individuals who took the time to express gratitude for their partner not only felt more positive toward the other person but also felt more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship.
- There is a mental health benefit; people who keep these diaries exercise more regularly and reported feeling better about their lives
In a study, these tips will help them reap the greatest rewards from maintaining their journals:
- Don’t just go through the motions.Keep them conscious about journal time and in the moment.
- Go for depth over breadth.Help them elaborate as much as possible
- Get personal.Ask is a specific person had something to do with what they are grateful for
- Try subtraction, not just addition.Add prompts that include why they are grateful to not going without something.
- Savor surprises.Have them mention anything unexpected.
- Don’t overdo it. If they want to skip a day or a week, it’s ok. Just pick back up when they are inspired to add something to their journal
Here’s my approach so far:
- Keep it simple
- Encourage sharing with other people
- Provide funny prompts whenever needed
- Have an “on this day” moment every few months to revisit past entries
- Include into the night-time routine
What are your children grateful for? Have them start writing it down. You’ll be surprised how many things they have to put on their lists. The best part is they will love to share their journals with others and use it to remember how they felt during the year.
Originally published at www.citybornsouthernliving.com on June 6, 2017.
Originally published at medium.com