Now is a good time to get started with a gratitude journal, especially for the kids. Thanksgiving is coming up and when they are asked, “What are you thankful for?” it helps to be prepared. Children can sometimes feel stunned by ‘on the spot’ questions like this, so prepare them early.
You can make a Gratitude Jar (filling them with slips of paper with the things they are thankful for) and give the children writing prompts to help get them thinking. Every day (either at Breakfast or after dinner) go through their jars together and have them read every slip of paper out loud. Then have them write something new down and put it in the jar for the next day.
You can also have them make their own journals as seen here. Have them write down three things they are thankful for each day. Then each morning have them read those three things out loud before adding three new things. Each day they will increase their list by threes.
Be sure to make a journal for yourself, because this is good practice for anyone, especially a mom who believes in teaching by example. Increase your ‘thankful list’ by fives or tens instead of by the threes your children are doing.
Don’t let gratitude be only in the mornings. At bedtime ask them for one thing from the day that they are thankful for. Have them use a full sentence for their answer. For example, “I’m thankful for Lucy, who shared her milk with me at lunch time when my milk spilled on the floor.” You can ask deeper questions to raise greater soul awareness such as, “Why do you think Lucy decided to share with you? What do you think made her want to do that?” You can create a wonderful devotion out of such a sweet little conversation…all birthed through gratitude.
Practice gratitude with your children every day and when it comes time for Thanksgiving they will be ready to answer that question with ease..
“What are you thankful for?”
This is part of my 31 days to Autumn series.