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A Heart of Gratitude in Our Kids

November 13, 2012

written by Cathy Baker, mom of two tween daughters, living in the Missouri Ozarks

Last Thanksgiving, Heidi shared my absolute favorite idea for instilling gratitude this time of year, which involves slips of paper on the table, a cornucopia to put them in, then making them into place-mats at the end of the season. You can read about it here.

Here’s another one of my favorite ideas.  Last year, I bought the girls a blank journal and had them begin writing in it everything they were thankful for that day.  We started it on vacation, so every time we’d get back in the car (it was a 3,000 mile road trip) I had them list as many things as they could think of that they were thankful for.  I’ve had them pull it out at different times since., sometimes just randomly, or to make a point, i.e. write down as many things as you can think of about why you are thankful for your sister (they had been fighting a lot).  And last week my daughter pulled it out again and began writing in it! And I thought, how perfect for Thanksgiving!! I’m trying to encourage them to write in it every night.  Eventually, I hope they get 1,000 things they are thankful for! So far, one of my daughters is up to 300! Look, I finally made the list at #112. (ha,ha!)

Amazon has thousands of journals at your fingertips, like this one.

Here’s a cute one page booklet that you could print up and use during the week of Thanksgiving. (Here is a quick youtube tutorial on how to fold the paper into a booklet.)

And if you want to read more deeply on this subject, I encourage you to check out Ann Voskamp’s blog post on it: 15 Happy Ways to Teach kids to be Grateful, it’s what inspired the 1,000 list in the first place.

If your heart is being thankful, does it really have room for ingratitude?!

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  1. Heidi Farmer

      on November 13, 2012 12:27 pm

    Love these ideas!! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year. This year, we have so much to be thankful for. And a certain reminder that our happiness does NOT lie in material things but our relationships with family and friends. Now that my boys are old enough to write – I’m going to get them going. Thanks for the reminder!


  2. Marykate wurster

      on November 14, 2012 9:07 am

    I love these ideas! What a great idea about the journal too! We always share at dinner what we are grateful for and then select a favorite. It’s very sweet to hear what the kids come up with. Can’t wait to check out the blog ideas too!


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