How to Start Gratitude Journaling With Your Family

Image by Freepik

In today’s world, where things can feel challenging, making gratitude a part of your routine has become more important than ever. Discover the magic of gratitude journaling, a wonderful tool for kids and adults to foster a positive mindset. As the New Year begins, let’s embrace the idea of adding something new and uplifting to our daily lives. Here’s a simple guide to make it a healthy habit for your family.

Starting the Year With a Specialist’s Insight

Sapna Radhakrishnan, a conscious parenting coach, NLP practitioner, and author of Yelling to Zenning, suggests that practicing gratitude can positively rewire young minds, emphasizing the New Year as an ideal starting point.  Selecting a “gratitude” journal is a flexible process; there’s no strict rule on the type. Make it enjoyable for your kids by allowing them to choose a notebook with a cover and color they adore.

Alternatively, they can personalize a plain one with stickers or drawings. Dr. Monika Roots, child psychiatrist and co-founder at Bend Health, recommends dating each entry for older kids. For tech-savvy teens, Dr. Roots suggests embracing digital entries for on-the-go thoughts. Younger ones not keen on writing can express gratitude through drawings instead.

Simplified Gratitude Journaling

To instill a gratitude mindset in your children, start with straightforward prompts, as suggested by Radhakrishnan. Dr. Roots enhances this by introducing the “JOY” acronym. The J stands for asking yourself what brought you joy. The O is for how you can bring joy to others the next day, and the Y is thinking of a quality about yourself that you’re grateful for.

Image by Drazen Zigic on Freepik

Regardless of the prompt, Dena Farash, a positive discipline parenting educator and parent coach, recommends beginning journaling with “no rules and no boundaries,” ensuring a joyful and personal experience for your little ones.

Creating a Gratitude Routine

Setting a realistic frequency for gratitude journaling is essential, considering your family’s schedules and attention spans, especially with younger kids. Whether once a day or once a week, ensure it seamlessly fits into your routine. Dr. Roots suggests “habit stacking,” integrating gratitude journaling into an existing part of their schedule. This method helps weave the new habit into an established routine, making it more likely to stick.

Image by Freepik

The positive impacts of gratitude journaling go beyond individual well-being. They strengthen family bonds. According to Radhakrishnan, turning gratitude journaling into a family practice fosters meaningful conversations, connection, appreciation, and understanding within the family unit.