Happy Sunday FUN Day to errrrrybody! This is a part 2 post that will update what I started a few weeks ago. The FIRST post is titled, Gratitude Journals for MY Kids because they’re TOO trifling & spoiled. Plus, I’m handicapped with #MS and need help. It can be found here. The purpose of this particular writing is to update on if it works (Yup.), who it’s working on (some more than others) and modifications I’ve made (a few).
Hey! Don’t forget WHY da lil handicapped homie is even doing Gratitude Journals with the kids. Number one, probably hinted too hard 😉. I’m handicapped AF with Multiple Sclerosis and Spondylosis. MS is an autoimmune disease in which my body attacks all the nerves in my body so I have chronic pain, double vision, fatigue, spasms, tremors, difficulty breathing and a complete inability to balance myself standing or sitting. Spondylosis is the REAL banger though. That is the accelerated deterioration of spinal cord resulting in numerous bulging discs, herniated discs, arthritis. Four kids, wife working 75-80 hrs and MY issues means it was imperative I find some kinda way to encourage their cleanliness, initiative and accountability. Like I said, I’m handicapped so fussing, grounding, hollering, demanding from the bed and wheelchair was NOT working at all. At some point, it started feeling like my kids felt they were running the house, grades falling, crap everywhere, having to repeat the SHIT out of myself… *SMH* Enter Gratitude Journals.
Modifications I’ve Made
In the original plan, the kids all have spirals and when they get popped for misbehavior, grades, skipping chores (Really? How many times do I gotta hear ‘My bad. I forgot. 😑 AGAIN?!). I included book reports for cash and a credit score for them to base their travel requests and TV time. It was working! WOW. The power to just say, “Gon write 10 Gratitudes for me and remember to explain WHY you’re grateful for each.” is incredibly effective and efficient. In their eyes, it beats the fussing, yelling and stuff. In my eyes, there’s waaaaaaay less backtalk and I genuiley enjoy reading what they wrote.
Well, the modification is the Board of Good Things. I write quotes on the Board and if somebody gets popped; instead of Gratitudes, they analyze and answer questions about the quote(s) in their Gratitude Journal. I LOVE it. They have mixed feelings. The two older kids prefer Gratitudes because it was easier. The younger two actually get excited to discuss the quote. Either way, it went super well and all feel like they’re learning something! Then, I decided to start writing affirmations on the Board. I don’t tell them when I’ll do it, I just jot stuff as I realize it. I can go days without writing any affirmations and suddenly write 4 or 5 in a few minutes. I’m doing it to build a stronger rapport with each and kinda fill their bucket. Everyone is digging the affirmations. YUP, even the high school senior sniffs around the Board and family to gauge if her efforts are noticed. 😛🙏🏾🙏🏾
Who It’s Working Best For
For the 1st grader, she loves it all. It becomes her talking points and she actively tried HARD to earn affirmations. She wakes up and checks the Board for affirmations, new quotes, everything.
My 5th grader is a little more discreet with it all. She had been really struggling with leaving a mess, forgetting homework & speaking alternative facts. After 3 weeks, she is making a concentrated effort to AVOID Gratitudes and quote analysis. I’m cool beans with that because when it is time to write, she enjoys the art of writing out both. She even sends me messages through her writings!
My 8th grade boy flat out dislikes all the writing activities. He doesn’t respond about affirmations. He doesn’t respond to Gratitudes either. What he WILL do is keep a running score of all siblings’ affirmations and openly complain he isn’t getting his dues. It’s the only time I take into account the actual ‘score’ because he picks it up considerably after his complaints. He knows I’m looking hard for his effort and he brings it.
My high school senior does NOT have a Gratitude Journal at all. 🖕🏾 Somethings aren’t worth fighting. As a healthy Dad, I’d push it all on her under the threat of cellphone access. As da lil handicapped homie, hard pass. She is digging the affirmations too though. So much so, she participates in family gatherings to talk affirmations. Shhhhhoooot, *looking for said daughter* she even helps with homework and sets up a playdate between siblings and neighbor’s home school kids! 🤜🏾🤛🏿😁
Next Related Post: Daddy’s Academy of Gratitude