This 9-Year-Old's List Of 'Good Things' Is Going To Make Your Eyes Hurty – In A Good Way

He felt sad one evening before bed, so he wrote this lovely list.
Isabel Pavia via Getty Images

Today in adorable news: a father has shared the sweet list of “good things” his son wrote one evening when he was sad – and it’s incredibly heartwarming.

Mark Taylor-Batty, 56, said his nine-year-old son, whose name he preferred not to share, had been feeling sad because of some ongoing changes to his friendship group – and it meant he was struggling to sleep.

When his dad suggested he wrote a list of “all the good things that he has” – he carefully penned an extensive 51-point list of everything positive he could think of in his life.

Some of the good things listed included: having a room to himself, his family, electricity, the game he invented, Roman chess, comics, having an imagination, and the nearby Quaffery which, his dad confirms, makes huge pancakes “the size of his head”. We like his style.

The list of "good things".
Mark Taylor-Batty
The list of "good things".

When asked why his son was feeling low, Taylor-Batty, who is based in Bradford, tells HuffPost UK he was having some friendship troubles.

“He’s at that age where children transition from having best friends they are glued to, to a range of friend groups, and it can be difficult for them to handle that transition,” he explains. “Small events can feel like rejection.”

On top of that, someone he’s been close to since he was very little is moving away. “He was clearly handling a burden of emotions around friendships that he wasn’t fully equipped to handle,” says Taylor-Batty.

“I reckoned I needed something to pull his thoughts away from that tangle that was making him so sad, and suggested he write a list of the good things in his life.

“I suggested the things he had recently been doing, like devising his own game, his bedroom, his toys.”

Discussing the contents of the list, the dad-of-two wasn’t surprised to see his son’s iPad on there. Although the nine-year-old later clarified he had added that later on, but didn’t have room at the bottom so had squeezed it in at the top.

“We got them both iPad minis during lockdown to help with home schooling and keeping in touch with friends,” says Taylor-Batty, a Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Leeds.

“I could see that at one point in the list he was looking around his room and listing what he could see – pillows, cushions, carpet, light – and his room is his den, so that made sense.

“But the lovely things, none of which I’d suggested, were those internal blessings such as knowledge, imagination, ideas, and things that support them like his many, many sketchpads.”

Taylor-Batty added it was nice to see his son list things like “freedom” and “rights” too.

The list turned out to be a great distraction for his son, who he says slept well that night and was in a good mood the next morning.

After sharing the note on Twitter, the father was flooded with comments about his son’s brilliant choices.

“Choice, opinion and imagination, wow that’s one cool kid you have there,” wrote one respondent.

Another added: “When good parenting shines through. What a lovely boy, so much awareness and insight. All he needed was that little suggestion and it just poured out of him. Glad he felt better afterwards, I know I did after reading it.”