Journaling is a practice I’ve personally adopted since childhood. I can remember “pouring out my soul” on those pages – the good, bad, great, and ugly of life.
In recent years, nothing has changed and I feel honored to have authored my own guided journals along with facilitating journaling workshops and 1:1 sessions.
It’s been an amazing experience, but I’ve discovered another way to implement this important soul care practice.
With my daughter...
Jordyn, my 2nd grader, sees me write on most days of the week and desired to join me one day as I plugged away with my pen and notebook.
I won’t take the credit for getting her current journal. She actually received it as a party favor at a birthday celebration. And since then, she’s been regularly documenting her days – fun moments and even her emotions.
Jordyn typically loathes writing.
Who would of thought that a pretty, sparkly journal would help break that pattern?
And so we wrote – mother and daughter together.
Jordyn had been having a very difficult time with a “friend” and she documented that. (As the adult, I’ll just call it what it is – #bullying). Once she finished writing, we talked freely about her words. The pain. The disappointment. The adjusting.
I ended our “talk” with prayer — prayerful words for my daughter and the difficult “friend” whom I’m teaching Jordyn to have boundaries with but also empathy for (because we know very little of their real life and story).
I’m in awe of God and how He leads even the “little ones” to His arms of refuge.
Desire to do soul care journaling sessions with your elementary school-age kids? Below are some suggestions:
*Allow your child to see you (in plain view) read, write, etc. when it is possible. Our interest in books, writing, etc. can spark theirs.
*Allow them to choose their own journal or notebook. Target has a variety of products that have affirming titles, bold colors, imaginative design, etc.
*If your child dislikes writing like mine, begin in small increments with writing freely about anything they desire.
*Be sure to not correct your child’s spelling or grammar unless they ask you for help to do so. The point of this particular journaling exercise is for them to be able to freely express themselves versus submitting a writing assignment for a school grade.
*Put a timer on if you desire. A few minutes is sufficient.
*Use difficult moments in the day to be the topic of your session. Affirm their feelings while encouraging them to express their frustrations on paper.
*Listen silently. Listen actively. Ask important questions (without rushing) – “What was the most frustrating part? How do you feel?”
*Acknowledge their frustrations and/or pain and pray together. Wholeheartedly communicate that tears or anger do not make them weak or disqualify them from being loved by you and God.
*Pray privately and consistently for the Holy Spirit to have free reign in your home, family, and ability to authentically connect with your kids. Be patient and open to the possibilities that are unique to your specific family. Your experience may differ somewhat from mine and this is certainly okay and in tune with how God made us all distinct!
Happy journaling… Until next time…