A few weeks ago, I started journaling with Harry, where each night before bed we snuggle under the covers and I ask him about his day, what emotions he felt and what the weather was like. As a mama who experienced post-natal depression, it’s important for me to share with Harry ways to cultivate a positive mindset, understand his feelings and find gratitude in everyday moments. So, when I went looking for a journal and couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, I decided to make it!
Journal time has now become a special moment in our daily routine, where we can wind down and check in with each other. Each day the journal includes the prompt ‘I felt’ and Harry can circle his emotion that day or draw his own. One night he circled angry, so I asked ‘what made you feel angry today?’ Harry responded with ‘an imaginary duck, ate one of my imaginary chicks.’
I continued to ask Harry why this made him angry and it was such a funny conversation that unearthed a small moment in his day that I might never have heard about if not for journaling with him. My hope through our journal time is to create a safe and comforting space for Harry to share his day, whether it be excitement and happiness or wobbly moments of sadness or feeling lonely.
“And after a long day of five-year-old tantrums and picky eating, when Harry asks’ Mama, is it journal time?’ my heart fills with joy. His journal is a safe port to come home to in calm or stormy seas and it’s a privilege as his mother to be guiding him on his journey.”
I’ve had inquiries from people wanting to use this journal with their kiddos, so I’ve made the Happiful Journal, a print-at-home gratitude journal! Through using the journal with Harry I’ve tested and changed things. I’ve made each journal page a consistent layout but unique with different emotions, questions and illustrations.