Are you as excited as I am about the New Year? I love fresh starts! I love progress and the idea that we can become better. That’s why I was so excited when Cheryl from Gracefull Parenting wanted to share ideas on simple traditions that can inspire others to be better, by doing simple things. Every day for the next 10 days I will be updating this post with different resolutions that are attainable and great for families. You can try them all of just pick one to work on.
One of the goals I have for my family is to take more time to write in our journals as a family. I say more time but really I’ve hardly written in my journals at all last year. I want to be better at this and help my kids learn the value of writing down their thoughts. Not only is it excellent for their fine motor skills and language development but it gives them time to reflect and see growth. And the key to writing in your journal (especially as a family) is to simplify the process.
How Often Should We Write In Our Journals?
To start small I’m planning on spending 15 minutes each Sunday as a family writing in our journals. Sunday is our Sabbath and usually our day looks a little different than the rest of the week. I plan on keeping all our journals together on our bookshelf and pulling them out so we can do it together. Each child has their own and can work at their own pace. If my kids decide they want to write during the week even better.
Yes. I have rules. I think they are pretty simple. You must write in order. My kids use to want to just open the book to any page and it drove me crazy. Part of journal writing is to see progression. You have to go in order. Also you should use pen. Pencil lead can fade over time and we are all about recording for posterity. Using a pen is crucial and these Project Life pens are a personal favorite as they are ‘acid free, fade proof, waterproof, and non-bleeding’.
And my kids have to date each entry. I do have to help some of my kids with this task but it’s worth it. Also I have my kids write their name and introduce themselves on the first page. I really love looking over their journals and seeing their growth and progress.
What Should We Journal About?
Wilford Woodruff said “Men should write down the things which God has made known to them“. As my children grow up I want them to know one of the most important things they can record is their testimony and the tender mercies they have received. If they feel the spirit they should write it down so they won’t forget those feelings. Other great things to record is the everyday activities. It may seem mundane, (parents may feel this way), but it’s part of life. My schedule as a mom has changed as my kids have grown older. Seeing they differences and remembering the things we did is a great way to preserve our everyday life. And their is beauty is the everyday.
We also can write the highlights or our week, a struggle we’ve had, a goal we met, or what we like to do for fun. My son recently did his own bullet journal of his day and it was hilarious! He recorded that he got mad at his sister (twice) and she told him that wasn’t very kind to write that in his journal. But I reminded them both it’s okay to write down when we are upset. He also recorded that he told on her and that he played legos, ate food, and did other tasks for that day.
Now my daughter, who happens to me 4, already had a journal when we learned about Anne Frank during A week. She knows the journal rules and her job is to draw a picture and then tell me about it. I record what she said, often using quotation marks as her grammar is in the ‘adorable’ stage. She has a chance to record her thoughts, which are often Ninjgo portals and animals. Sometimes I give her prompts like draw what you got for Christmas. Journal writing can start at an early stage.
What Kind Of Journals Should I Get?
We usually get our kids a nicer journal when they turn 8. And sometimes even get their name engraved on them. You can find a local Desert Book which does this service. But really you can pick up any notebook from Target or even just grab a composition notebook. Some kids like to decorate the front of composition notebooks with fun paper and stickers. I just like to have something that’s easy to write in. And if it’s cute, even better. Like this adorable llama journal I found.
And there are also different kind of journals to have. I have one for each of my kids. When they were young and unable to keep their own I would record their progress and the sweet things they did. I often started a journal before they were born. I love recording special moments or funny things that have happened. I often hear people say they would never forget something, but personally as I have read back through my journals I have found that I tend to forget. And remember recording things helps you to remember with more clarity.
In addition to writing journals for each of my kids, my husband and I started a journal together. My goal was to have a place where we could record (honestly it’s usually me) the tender mercies of The Lord we have witnessed. It’s hard to tell your kids all of your spiritual experiences, especially if their age or the timing isn’t right. But if we could have a place to write down things that are dear to our heart then they won’t be lost forever when we are gone. I want my kids to know what is most important to me. I want to share the times we have seen His hand or have had the chance to be an instrument to bless someone else.
They also have journals for recording your life, sharing memories for your grandchildren, travel journals, scripture journals, one line a day journals, and other prompts. I bought my mom and mother in law one of these journals I hope they are filling out. You can read about the power of a gratitude journal here.
Journal writing will bless your family in so many ways. Some people feel that their life isn’t worth recording and that just isn’t true. So I challenge you to start recording things as a family or an individual. You don’t have to spend a lot of time. But pick a time that works for your family, maybe before bed or Saturday morning. I know you will see blessings as you continue to make time for reflecting.
Do you keep a journal? Share your favorite thing about it below. Or feel free to ask questions if you need more help! And don’t forget to check out these other great bloggers for more resolutions that you actually want to keep.
Purpose Driven Motherhood
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