Gratitude Journaling With Kids

Winston and Mila have some awesome grandparents! Just kidding. We are glad to give all the credit to their super awesome parents who are working hard to instill values and morals, as well as valuable concepts like mindfulness and thankfulness. If you ever hear a kid pray, its the sweetest sound you will ever hear. The innocent prayers of children are often comforting and inspiring to even us old folks. We often hear that innocence when Winston and Mila say their prayers. They always say the sweetest little prayers. The prayer of a child will restore your faith in humanity on your worst days.

Winston is almost always the first to volunteer to bless our food when we sit down to eat and now, as the big brother, he has become a great example for his little sister. Now that Mila says her own prayers, she has also learned to express thankfulness. She started out just repeating some of the same words and phrases he says but that’s ok, her little prayers are still as important and still as sweet. One thing we all notice when we hear them pray is that they start their prayers out with the same little phrase. I’m not sure where it came from or where they picked it up but they’ll both start out with “Thank you for all these days.”  I’m sure its their own interpretation of something they’ve heard one of the grown ups say, but I really don’t know where they picked that up. 

One day I was listening to Winston pray and just wondered why they say that particular phrase. I thought about where and how he might have picked it up, wondering about what his little mind thinks he means when he says “All these days.” I decided that it is irrelevant as to why they say that phrase but how very inspiring and even necessary that they are learning to say it. I actually thought maybe he’s onto something that I am missing out on, or maybe he knows something I don’t. I think this phrase is more important than we might think. A mindset of thankfulness certainly has been modeled for them somewhere along the way. Their little prayers are starting out with a sense of gratitude. They don’t start out asking for anything but are being grateful. Another take away for me is that they’re not just grateful for today but for ALL the days. They’re thankful for all they know at this point in their little lives-ALL they have.   Am I thankful for ALL days, even the bad ones? These days that we are living in are not always happy. Some of them have been downright terrible for some people in the last little while. Their little seven and two year old style of praying has got me thinking about how to be grateful first and exactly what all I should be thankful for. As the old saying goes, out of the mouth of babes…….

November is always a month when we are more mindful of what we are thankful for. We will often see people do gratitude posts on social media or post something they are thankful for on a daily basis.  We gather at Thanksgiving with family and friends to celebrate all we are thankful for….but that’s just one day.  I got to thinking what if I take what they say and be thankful for ALL DAYS not just the ones dedicated to being thankful. And what if I really am thankful for THESE days? I’ll work to be thankful for these terrible days, these busy days,  these pandemic days, these cold and dreary days. All these days. All of them.

So when we decided to start publishing journals, we thought we could create their own gratitude journals. Because these kids are just too cute and they’re little prayers are so inspirational, why not start with them? Winston, Mila and I started working on recognizing what we are grateful for during all these days. They each have their own journal to work in. Some days we just talk about what we are grateful for and they draw while we talk. Some days we help Mila while Winston works independently about what he’s thankful for. (I like to help Mila because she’s always thankful for her Gigi. Sometimes I’m even first on the list!) It continues to keep them mindful to be thankful first and ask second. It also helps us all to refocus on the blessings we have and not to always be so focused on the negative things all around us.  During times when we need to retreat and refocus, counting our blessings helps us along the way.  

I have published 3 different journals if you’d like to join us during our time of gratitude.  You can click Mila’s strawberry themed journal.  If you’d like to have your own journal,

the whiny hiker

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