I love journaling! I mean I’m a blogger, so if I didn’t like journaling that would be weird right?
In today’s busy world, we are so busy meeting deadlines, rushing kids to practices, eating at different hours and trying to fit it all in, that we forget to talk to our kids about the important things in life. The things that will shape their mental health. Our collective American mental health is declining. We are a people who are overly stressed, overly scheduled and disconnected from the ones we love. I started a thing with my kids this summer to connect us even more. I spent a few days on Pinterest writing down quotes to live by. Basically life lessons I can teach my kids now to help them as they grow with the things they’ll deal with down the road.
The kids write the quote down in their journals, then they explain what they think it means. We have a discussion on its meaning and how we can apply it to our lives. I point out situations in the past where if only we applied this concept, it would have had a better outcome or I talk about how when we change our thinking, we can change the outcome of things.
This is where I think many parents can have that disconnect with their kids. Kids are often told, not to do something without being told why. Or not to act a certain way, without being told why. These discussions with our kids are so important for their mental health and for the challenges, they’ll face in their adolescence. They’ll have a voice in their head when things go wrong. Will that voice be one of encouragement or will it be a discouraging one?
So when I’m sitting at my dining room table bible journaling, sometimes they are also writing down a bible verse, but sometimes they are writing down a concept.
These were some of the ones they’ve journaled so far:
“A negative mind will never give you a positive life.” (My youngest son who is 7, is surprisingly negative for his age)
“Be selective in your battles sometimes peace is better than being right.” (sibling rivalry)
“The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.” (once again addressing negativity)
“Don’t let someone dim your light simply because it’s shining in their eyes.” (this can also be used to talk about jealousy, that when we are jealous of someone else’s light, we dim our own.)
“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” (When my kids think they can’t do something, or that they are bad at something before they’ve even begun.)
“A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” (Teaching kids to stick with something, even if it doesn’t seem like they are making progress.)
“You will find it necessary to let things go, simply for the reason that they are heavy.” (When my kids like to argue with each other)
“What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet.” (I asked each kid to think of some of their best memories, then I told them at 10 and 7 you haven’t even begun to have some of the best days of your lives yet! Just wait!)
“Don’t wait for things to get better. Life will always be complicated. Learn to be happy right now otherwise, you’ll run out of time.” (While kids aren’t often plagued with worry like adults are, this is something I want them to know now before adulthood comes and the reality of adult life hits them.
These are just some of the quotes they’ve written down this summer and below are some of their responses:
This summer, make some time to talk about the important things with your kids, for their mental health and for yours.
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