When you think of an ungrateful child what do you think of?
Do you think of a child that expects things? Grumbles or throw tantrums when they can’t have what they want? Is unappreciative for what they do have? Wants more, more, more?
It’s not a pretty picture is it?
The truth is that it’s not uncommon for children to display this type of behavior at some point. My children included.
Thankfully we, as parents, have the awesome opportunity to model and teach our children how to be grateful for what they have and not constantly ask for more.
Modeling means we need to be grateful in order to show our children what gratitude looks like. If you are interested in practicing gratitude yourself be sure to check out my post from yesterday (there is even a free printable! Yay!).
While there is no formula or instruction manual for teaching gratitude there are things you can do to help yourself and your children become more grateful.
I personally believe that the Holy Spirit is where genuine life-changing gratitude comes from. But whether you believe that or not, there are practical steps you can take each and every day to gain appreciation and change your perspective, while also helping your children do the same.
Here are five components for teaching gratitude:
- Model It
- Reflect On It
- Read Scripture
- Pray & Give Thanks
Today, I am going to give you a tool for your children to Reflect On It. For the next 31-days your children can think of one thing per day that they are each thankful for and write about it. It doesn’t have to be long or profound but just ask them to think of something they appreciate and write it down.
Below are two slightly different children’s gratitude journals available to you, both for FREE! The first version includes two days per page with a smaller area for a drawing each day. The second version has a separate page for each day with a very large area for drawing. Both have the same cover page. You decide which one will work better for your child!
31-Day FREE Printable Gratitude Journal for Kids
**IMPORTANT NOTE: The FREE Gratitude Journal for Kids is for personal, at-home use only.
Since I know from personal experience that it can be difficult to follow through with this 31-day journal, especially with young children, I created another resource. It is a Family Gratitude Journal so that you can reflect together as a family. This 12-Month Journal that can be purchased through my Etsy shop, The Happy Printable.
The benefits the Family Gratitude Journal versus an individual journal are:
- It’s an easier method for young children and children who don’t enjoy writing. You can designate a scribe to write it all down so those children can still participate.
- It promotes open conversation as a family.
- Family members may remember something that you didn’t remember or didn’t realize happened.
- Writing in a journal every single day (and getting our children to do so) can be a challenge. The Family Gratitude Journal allows your family to write as much or as little during the month as you choose.
- It’s a lot of fun!
Printing and Binding
For any of the journals you can simply staple the pages together or you can use sliding bar report covers. If you want to create a nice keepsake then another option is to head to your local print shop and have your journal spiral bound. You may want to use thicker paper or a light card stock if you choose to have your journal spiral bound.