Gratitude According to My Preschooler
My husband and I both grew up in modest households and we want to make sure our children don’t take the comfortable life they have for granted. For that reason, I created a family gratitude jar.
At the end of each day we sit down as a family and write down what we are thankful for and place it in our gratitude jar. When Thanksgiving rolls around, we will review the slips of paper we placed in the jar.
Of course my little mama bear, Lee, wants to do everything herself and scoffed at the idea of me writing down what she is thankful for. I decided she could use pictures instead and below is her gratitude list.
I have to say, doing this exercise with my daughter made me appreciate the simple things in life. She reminded me that there is always plenty to be thankful for. First on her list were the flowers her daddy gave her just because…
My husband and Lee share a special bond. If he leaves for work while she is sleeping, she sobs because she didn’t get to give him a hug and kiss good-bye. She is the first one to greet him when he gets home, and at least five times during the day she tells me how much she misses her daddy.
Lee is an equal opportunity lover so it didn’t surprise me when she said she was thankful for me too. We do have a great time together when we are home. I see so much of who I want to be in her. She has a heart of gold and when she hugs me, every cell in my body ignites with love.
Spending time with her brothers is also at the top of her list. Even though they engage in their fair share of bickering and tattling, they are as thick as thieves. When one of her siblings get a time out, Lee immediately starts advocating for them to be ‘released’.
Next on her list is her hair and pink hair bow. She loves EVERYTHING pink and she loves playing in her hair…and other people’s hair for that matter. There have been plenty of time that we were sitting behind someone and to my horror Lee will nonchalantly reach for their hair.
In addition to her hair and pink bow, Lee is grateful for getting a chance to play outside. It has been pretty cold this winter and we’ve been cooped up a lot since Christmas. When it finally ‘warmed’ up to 34 degrees, we headed outside to make snow balls and snow angels. Initially Lee was excited to play in the snow, but ten minutes later she was ready to go in and have some hot chocolate. I was thankful for that.
I thought Lee’s list ended with playing in the snow, however she had one last thing to add. As we snuggled in bed waiting for her to take a nap, she informed me that we forgot to add dancing leaves to her gratitude list. I’ll explain. Everyday before Lee falls asleep she stares out the window at a tree outside our bedroom window. One day I asked her what she was looking at and she replied “the leaves are dancing.” Even though the leaves are gone now, she still stares at the tree until she falls asleep.
It is never too early to introduce children to the practice of gratitude. When they learn to appreciate what they already have, they are less likely to develop the lack mentality that hinders so many adults from living their best lives.
How do you practice gratitude with the children in your life?