Gratitude Journals for children

Gratitude journaling is something that only takes a few minutes per day but can have a big positive impact on your ls and your childrens holistic development, mental health and overall wellbeing.

A gratitude journal is simply something you do to keep track of all the good things your thankful for in life. Usually kept in a book form, you write what you are thankful for that day and what the best bit of the day was etc. No matter what your day looked like, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. It’s incredibly easy to start, simply buy a notebook, a pen and start writing daily, about the positives and goodness in your days. The more you focus on the goodness in your life it enables you to gain a different perspective. I whisper thank you to myself continually throughout the day, as soon as I wake in the morning I say thank you out loud and at night I gather all my thankful thoughts and write them down in my book.

Gratitude journals are for everyone! Adults and children of all ages. I started one over a year ago and seeing first hand how powerful this simple tool is to enhance your happiness I decided Luca should try one out too. We do ours after a bath at bedtime, Luca is winding down and able to focus on his thoughts. I find this time very special for both of us, it’s a meaningful bonding time where we are together without any distractions and are able to think about our day clearly. I’m able to get a better insight to Luca’s day and his thoughts. The gratitude journal is full of benefits for us all, but I especially think it’s great for children to start as early as possible because:

• They become more present and mindful

• Improves attitude and builds character

• Become more self aware

• Reduces stress & worries

• Opens communication

• Gives them a different perspective on life

• Develop a sense of thankfulness and gratitude for even the littlest things in life

• Improve emotional well being

• Acknowledging and appreciating the simple things in life

• Allows parents to understand their children on a different level

• Gives children a positive mind set

• Builds resilience

• Promotes life long skills they can carry on through adulthood

• Produces feelings of accomplishment and belonging

• Attracts more good things to come their way

Gratitude Journaling is a way to de stress, calm down, unwind and become mindful. Especially important if your busy and nonstop all day, you and your children need down time to just be in the moment to ground yourselves. Once you start to practise gratitude you will see opportunity to give thanks where ever you go. ☺️

A page out of Luca’s journal 🙏🏻

Children don’t play like they used to…

Are we as a nation stressing ourselves and our children out by planning and cramming as many playdates, after school activities, and kids clubs into our week as we can?

Are we over scheduling our children’s lives full of things we think they should be doing ?

This is something I feel incredibly strong about within todays society. I personally think some parents can go into a competition frenzy of ‘ look how many activities my child does, my child does more than your child’. Parents are spread increasingly thin, they are always rushing, stressed, feeling over scheduled and are chaining themselves to a tiresome weekly routine, forgetting how children used to build their character and resilience through play.

We are starting our children at school at the tender age of 3 which is a whole different topic I won’t go into haha. But I just hope people don’t loose sight of how important it is for children to have the freedom to just play.

Gone are the days that we can allow our children to play as we once did. It’s crazy to think that at 24 I had what they call an ‘old fashioned childhood’. Full of making my own decisions, knocking on for my friends, making mud pies, playing knock a door run, building my own resilience, making dens, having freedom, climbing trees, having a full day ahead of me to explore and make my own games up, but knowing I should head back home when the streetlights came on. A bath and my tea would be waiting back at home for me, ready to go back out the next morning and do it all over again.

I often think back to those times as some of the best learning experiences of my life. I believe that the resilience I have as an adult today was created from those days being free as a child. I would have hated having my days filled up with all different activities/classes every day of the week missing out on playing with my friends. My parents promoted child initiated play, hobbies and activities into my life. They allowed me to get to an age where I developed my own interests and acted upon them at that stage. For example I developed a passion for horses so my dad paid for horse riding lessons every weekend. When he could see how much I thrived and loved being around horses he bought me my own horse. It wasn’t forced on me, It was me making a choice for myself as a child that thats what I wanted to spend my time doing. But what I see happening in society today is we are giving our children hobbies, we are enrolling them into all sorts of activities filling all our children’s free time up thinking they need to be kept busy at all times.

Can you imagine our children have a day at home with no plans and nothing to do, whatever will happen to our children if they are left to be bored and having to make their own games up…

Please don’t feel like a bad parent for not having your child enrolled in every club going. Some of my best childhood memories and lessons learnt come from the days where I had nothing but myself, the outdoors and my imagination.

We all parent different and I will never judge anyone else’s parenting. I’m to busy judging my own parenting style 😂. I want to get it right so badly as we all do, we all want to do the best for our children. But just think about how children used to learn through play. If your feeling stressed by your schedule maybe it’s time to change it. Now I know times have changed, I myself would not allow Luca to play out alone, so I ensure I do the things I did on my own as a child with him. I supervise from a distance, I allow him to take risks, go up to children and make friends, allow him to socialise without my interference, I ensure we get outdoors everyday, I allow him to climb a tree without my input promoting risk taking and allowing to learn for himself, I let Luca make mudpies, splash in puddles, play in dirt, pick bugs up, be around animals, ride his bike and run through fields. I allow Luca to have lots of free time, lots of child initiated play and activities where he chooses what he wants to do.

One thing I would love to change for children these days is for them to get outdoors more, learn more through nature rather than tv programmes. For them to put the ipads down and not be so over scheduled and to just allow children to be children. ❤️

What do you think?

Should children be raised around animals?

What do you all think? Should our children be raised with pets in the house or not? It’s interesting to see peoples different opinions.

I’m that mum, when the kids ask for a puppy i say ‘ yeah cool lets get 5 ‘ 😂 I personally believe children gain lots of positives from being around animals. Children who are introduced to animals from an early age prevents them from developing anxiety’s and fears against them.

Having pets in the house is great for children, they learn important life skills of responsibility through learning how to take care of their animals. Creatures big or small can teach our children all about compassion, empathy and companionship too. Many times I have walked in on Luca snuggling the dog, whispering in the cats ear only secrets they are allowed to know, staring into the hamster cage, taking little bits of fruit to feed his hamster, stroking the dog, playing with the cat, both cat and dog lay down with Luca it really is wonderful to see the bond they all have. As Luca is an only child i’m pretty sure he sees them as his siblings which is so sweet ❤️

I was always around animals growing up, horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, have all been pets of mine. I always intended to carry this on to my children, as i have so many lovely memories from my childhood with my pets. We have 3 pets in the house at the moment. Tucker our dog, Jasper the cat and Honey our hamster the newest addition. I have found that pets build stronge family bonds and lasting memories. If I had it my way we would live on a farm with lots of different animals, and Luca would be outside everyday around those animals learning how to look after them 😀 Maybe one day 😉

Are you a pet person or not?

Why I don’t believe in iPads

 

 

Why I don’t believe in iPads/game consoles for young children.

First of all I want to start by saying that this post is just my personal opinion. All of us parent differently and this is just a little insight in to how I parent and my views. I believe we all have various parenting techniques and opinions, so it should be ok for people to share them to help or educate others.

Ok so the title says it all I do not believe in iPad or game console use for young children. There are many reasons for this but let me tell you how I came to this parenting view. As a teaching assistant I have worked with many different children. But I remember coming across one child that did something that stuck in my mind ever since. We were reading A Very Hungry Caterpillar together, the child was holding the book and began to swipe at the pages, literally dragging their finger across the page as if to swipe the page to go on to the next, just as you do with an iPad. This child was 3 years old and didn’t know how to turn a page in a book, they swiped instead. Now I understand the world is changing and technology is being incorporated more and more into our everyday lives and that there is so much greatness in technology. But personally for a child to not know how to use a book is incredibly sad and scary for me. I was in a class once that was all about the changes to teaching in schools and we watched a video that suggested that books and pens will be completely removed from classrooms in the future and pupils will do everything on an iPad or computer alike. It also showed technology parks for children, where they had images of this big area covered in all different types of seating arrangements with children sat down staring at screens, not interacting or talking to each other I found it absolutely absurd. I’m not sure if I’m just old fashioned but I hate this prospect!

When I came across the child who swiped at books, I made a promise to myself and to  my children that I will never allow that to happen to them. I will never include technology into our lives so much that I will no longer be teaching them. I want my children to learn through real life experiences with real life objects not virtual pictures on a computer screen. I want to be able to teach my children their colours by painting or colouring with them, learning to count by going outside to count flowers, stones or sticks, learning their shapes by using household objects they will come across every day. Now many people say to me but you can do all that and have an iPad for them too and my answer to this is always but why? If your children are learning everything they need to know through you and real life experiences and your child is that young they haven’t even asked you for an iPad or games console then why do they need to have one? I mean seeing 1 year olds get them for their birthday is quite ridiculous do you not think?

For young children who have incredible, precious, time limited imaginations, why would you want to supress that by giving them a screen to look at or play with that does all the imagination part for them? Because realistically that’s what your doing by giving children iPads and game consoles your supressing their imagination. The mind is being given images to think about rather than the mind making it’s own images up to think about, one of the greatest gifts of being a child is lost to a computer screen in my opinion. I also think it’s important to not over stimulate our children by constantly giving them something to do all of the time. People have told me they give the iPads to their children when they are bored. But I think it’s important to allow a child to be bored, this is when decision making and real imagination kicks in. Luca could literally make a game up from sticks and stones if he wanted to and I would rather that than him sitting down staring at a screen.

Some people give their children iPads to be quiet and sit still in a restaurant or somewhere similar. But how will a child ever learn how to behave in one of these places if a screen is shoved in their face every time they are there? If I was doing something that would be a challenge for Luca, like eating out when he was younger (he’s much more tolerable to these places now he’s 4) but I mean you can’t expect a 2 year old to sit quietly the whole time can you? so I would only go to child friendly places with a play area or I made sure my bag was packed with activities like colouring and toys to play with to keep him entertained. I get called old fashioned all of the time, I know not everyone will agree with me. But I just know of people that couldn’t live without an iPad for their children and I just want to make at least one of you think twice about them and that raising children without one is perfectly fine and doable. How do you think children were raised before technology?

My child may not know how to use an iPad but he can teach you how to climb a tree, he can show you how to use your imagination without a care in the world, he can show you how to care for animals, how do flips on a trampoline, how to not be scared of anything and give everything a go, how to make friends, how to balance on stepping stones with bare feet, how to make mudpies, how to be kind to others, how to ride a bike and he will even show you how to hold a spider without being afraid.

As always thank you for popping over to have a read, I hope you have all had a great weekend and I shall speak to you in the next blog 🙂