I wanted to share with you a little habit we have formed as a family that I don't often reflect on until it comes up in a conversation with someone (usually because one of the kids has mentioned it to someone that we do this & then the person becomes curious) & I realise how glad I am that we have implemented this into our routine.
To be honest, sometimes the kids say, "what about the book" as we sit down for our roast dinner on Sunday nights & I think "meh...bugger". Still, we get the book & go through the questions because we know how valuable it is, even if we're not really in the mood for it.
The book is this...
Judging by the first entry, I picked this book up in August, 2022, from the middle isle at Aldi. So we've had it for about 6 months.
It's a guided journal that's meant for one person, but we use it as a family. We've made the habit of "doing the book" on a Sunday night when we sit down for our roast.
We definitely don't get to it every week, but we're currently up to week 15, so we mustn't do too bad!
Some weeks it feels harder than others to tackle the questions & some weeks I feel strong in my parenting/leader headspace.
Some weeks my husband takes the lead & other weeks the kids are the ones pressing us for our responses. Balance.
The journal's great! It provides a weekly mantra & asks several questions each week like,
"What is something kind I did for another?"
"What challenged me this week?"
"This week I am grateful for" &
"Goals for next week"
It force us to stop & reflect, & the conversations that it brings about are so valuable for developing life skills.
I love that it prompts us to have these conversations together, to role model vulnerability to the kids & to show them that even adults & parents struggle with things & need to make plans to get out of a rut!
It prompts some deep thought & great conversations that set up life skills of planning, reflecting, resilience & gratitude.
Last night we were prompted to think & talk about our inner voice. What a concept for the kids to try & understand! ...but, what a valuable concept to be introduced to.
Here is an example from our personal entries from week 4
We use the journal honestly, noting that sometimes it's each other that have challenged us during the past week. Noting & modelling that we have leaned lessons such as downtime or time alone is a need, or we need to try harder to stay on task.
This is real life & we want to set the kids up to understand that things aren't always sunshine & rainbows. Relationships aren't always easy, even our relationship with self can be a challenge.
We also love to role model to our kids that were are here for these big conversations, that they can & should be part of our regular communication with each other. They can talk to us about anything.
We all help each other out. When someone in the family is struggling to set a goal for the week, we work together to help them set one.
When someone struggled to achieve their goal the week before, we rally together to help them get there the next week, even if it means readjusting the goal to add an additional step - because we don't always reach our goals straight away, but we do keep trying.
We have discussed core values, authenticity, bravery, strength, resilience, kindness, worthiness, our own ability to create change, mindset & manifestation.
Our kids are 10 & (almost) 12.
The value from this weekly exercise as a family is unquestionable.
If you are looking to bring some of these discussions into your family life, I highly recommend this as a practice.
I will add, that if you are a complete online shopping novice like me, maybe duck over to the shops & browse what journals are available so you can choose on that suits your needs & the ages of your kids.
I learned my online shopping lesson when I tried to gift my 2 besties a journal for the new year this year....it was a terrible buy. haha. Whoops.
The thought was there.
I would love to hear from you about ways that you practice gratitude & developing resilience in your family. Let us know in the comments.
If this was of value to you, feel free to share it. It might hit right for a friend of yours too.