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My Youngsters Made Gratitude Jars, and I Was Stunned by What They Wrote

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We have been within the checkout line at Goal one morning when a clerk swooped in and shoved vacation catalogues into my youngsters’ keen fingers. My youngsters are nonetheless sufficiently small that I can put all three within the purchasing cart, so that they have been sitting geese. Two seconds later, I watched their eyes gentle up as they thumbed by way of the toy choice. Certain sufficient, subsequent got here a refrain of, “Mommy, can I’ve this? Can I’ve this? Mommy, Mommy, Mommy.”

Nicely, Mommy feels defeated.

In a season the place youngsters are urged to construct lists of issues they need, I wished to determine a option to present them what they already had.

Naturally, I began on Pinterest, the place I discovered a slew of initiatives that might make my very own mom oooh and aah. With youngsters ages three to eight, I at all times discover it tough to seek out actions that work for everybody. However making gratitude jars was not solely one thing we may do, it was additionally an train my youngsters — who’ve a lot — may use.

The concept is straightforward: day by day, your youngsters write down one thing they’re grateful for and put the paper right into a jar. You want solely three issues. First, the jar itself. Any clear cup will do. Subsequent, markers and building paper. The extra colourful, the higher.

Lastly, it’s time to get the youngsters concerned. I caught mine on a Saturday morning proper after pancakes, when the temper was gentle. And after I requested them, “What are you grateful for?” they replied with out hesitation. 

Their solutions have been a triad of necessities: Legos, ice cream, and God.

We have been up and operating proper out of the gate! I had the older two write their solutions on items of paper, whereas I wrote out my three-year-old’s reply. Over the subsequent week, we added to the gratitude jars day by day after breakfast.

On the third morning, our God-loving son regarded up at me and requested, “Why aren’t you filling a jar?” So, my husband and I joined in, able to catch up. My first slip of paper had the phrase ‘household,’ however they wished me to be extra detailed. So, I modified it to ‘Aunt Jude in Alaska.’ ‘Nature’ additionally wasn’t particular sufficient, so I modified it to ‘the creek that runs by way of our yard.’ ‘Pumpkin pie’ was met with hearty approval. This was enjoyable. 

There have been pleased surprises over the subsequent few days: baseball, classmates, unicorns and popcorn. Our oldest son listed his mattress. Sooner or later, all of them wrote down their lecturers, which made me smile. Finally, Mother and Dad made it into their jars… after stickers and string cheese.

Sometime, when I’ve extra time and power, I would unfold these paper slips and glue them into binders to take a seat alongside their (at present non-existent) child books. However, for now, the youngsters like preserving the jars on the kitchen windowsill to have a look at, a shining reminder of every part they’ve, contained in a glass that’s greater than half full. 

Beat that, Goal. 


Toby Lowenfels is a author who lives in Nashville together with her husband and three youngsters. She covers popular culture for What’s Up Moms and contributes to Joy the Baker’s Sunday Hyperlinks.

P.S. Family rituals, and seven tips for raising grateful children.

(Photograph by Maria Manco/Stocksy.)

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