I have kept a diary for most of my adult life.
About ten years ago, I added gratitude and desired feelings on how I wanted my day to go. This simple exercise has been powerful and I have managed to achieve most of my dreams. Being grateful for what I have and having a strong vision of my future has given me what I want.
My children have been keeping a diary for about a year now and it has been a positive addition to their day. It took a few weeks to implement the diary-writing into their routine, but both children have experienced a positive outcome. We have even begun to notice a difference between the days they fill out their diary compared to the days they missed out on it.
Your child may find it difficult expressing themselves, or they may be happy to share everything going on in their life—either way, I believe starting a practice of keeping a soulful diary will empower them in so many ways.
Some children find it difficult to express their feelings. If you watch a small child they often get frustrated as they struggle to find the right words needed to communicate how they feel. This frustration can result in tears, stomping their feet, or even acting out in rebellious ways.
As children get older and as they learn new words, they want to talk more and more about every little thing that comes to mind—or whatever goes on in their little lives. Sometimes, parents may not be available to have chats their children, so that children may feel ignored.
If this continues over and over again, the child may begin to suppress their feelings and stop sharing their feelings altogether. This is a perfect example of a time when a diary can come in handy as an alternative space for children to express their feelings.
I know a few adults that have experienced the feeling of being ignored when they were a child and they also felt they were not given the space to express themselves freely. This may be the reason why they find it difficult communicating to friends and family members even now as an adult.
On the other hand, some children are eager to share everything and will not stop until someone has listened to what they have to say. They are enthusiastically excited and, at times, it may be difficult for others to keep up with their continuous flow of chatter, as they pause to find the right words and pick right up again. Not paying attention to them or not responding positively can cause disappointment and hurt feelings.
The soulful diary is a great tool to encourage children to communicate their feelings positively in a confident, compassionate way. It will help children identify and understand why and when they feel a certain way. Children will begin to take responsibility for their feelings and will have a safe place to express themselves freely.
Children can often go through a day of mixed emotions. Keeping a diary will help them decode their feelings and constructively learn from all their experiences—the good and the bad.
Adding gratitude to the diary helps maintain a positive approach to life and helps children appreciate even the smallest of things, as well as the role that others play in their lives. In the 21st century, the millennial children have far more possessions which go beyond their actual needs—such as expensive high-tech gadgets that even some adults do not possess. While technology is a must for our generation of children, they have lost the art of appreciation as they are given more things than they can use.
If taught properly, the gratitude diary will help your child be mindful of all the positivity in their lives and they will have the opportunity to fully engage with—and be grateful for—anything they have been given. Adding gratitude is the best gift you can give your child. It is, after all, important to pay attention to both their emotional and physical well-being.
Finally, positive affirmations can be used to help children feel better, create positive attitudes and achieve desired goals. These affirmations work better when positive emotions are internalized. When you affirm what you want, you mentally and emotionally make it true. I firmly believe in the concept of “what we think, we create”.
Even one simple affirmation—like, “Happiness surrounds me”—has such a strong vibration. We have gone one step further and written the affirmations on our children’s bedroom mirror.
These affirmations can change as often as your child wants. I am very passionate about this process and I truly believe that incorporating the daily diary-writing into your child’s life is one of the greatest gifts you can bestow upon them.
Author: Nishma Shah
Assistant Editor: Hilda Carroll / Editor: Renee Picard
Photo: Candace Nast/Flickr