I just started a new project. A personal one. It is called the Happiness Jar.
This is how it looks:
What you are looking at is a Jar with a smiley stuck on it.
We also call it the gratitude jar, because we drop notes in it about what we are grateful for, as well as what made us happy.
Appreciation is an important part of life, more so for children, so that they don’t grow up with a sense of entitlement. Children who do grow up thinking they are privileged often end up with not so perfect relationships and are not liked by everyone. And that’s so sad.
When we appreciate what we have and focus on it, rather than whine about what we don’t have, life is much better. We learn the value of things. So why not teach children this? Best to start when they are very young. And the happiness jar or gratitude jar is the best and most fun way to do it.
Here’s what we will be doing with our happiness jar: Each time something makes us happy, we’ll write it down in a slip of paper and put it in this jar. This means we will consciously appreciate every little thing. We’ll watch the jar fill up. At some point, it may not even be necessary to open the jar and read each slip, though we’ll do that too. Just seeing it fill up will be motivating, inspiring.
If we have a problem or if we’re upset about something, we’ll discuss it, disperse the sadness, find solutions and take action to feel better.
What you need to make your Happiness Jar
- A jar, of course. Any old container will do. Use a large one because children are enthusiastic about filling it up. Try and get a clear jar so you can see the notes inside it. If you don’t have a jar, even a cereal box is good enough. Just dress it up with pretty pictures and put a giant label on it, that says “Happiness Jar”
- Keep small notes ready–you can cut large sheets of paper into small notes and keep them ready along with a pencil. For the paper, even one-sided ones will do. Be creative!
- Place the Happiness jar where you can see it several times a day. It will serve as a pleasant reminder to be happy and grateful.
Just the sight of it filling up will bring you joy, I promise, along with a smile on your face!
Grateful children grow up to be wonderful human beings.
Teach your child the value of gratitude, today!