As a mum of a 7 and 11-year-old, back in early 2017, I was getting increasingly frustrated at the press constantly telling us kids are growing up stressed and that mental health issues were on the rise. At the same time, in my tech and productivity consultancy, I noticed a trend for a return to analogue: pen and paper planning preferred to apps, journaling over social media and mindfulness over time online.
The start of the solution
Many of my clients, myself included, were working on improving their habits and mindsets to achieve balanced, happy lives with better mental health, wellbeing, mindfulness, focus and improved productivity. At the same time, we worked hard at home to improve our digital resilience and reduce our family’s collective time online. I witnessed the impact of daily journaling, reduced screen-time, mindfulness and gratitude practice on my wellbeing and how simple changes to our home life made a big difference to the kids. We have ‘switch-off-weekends’, share our ‘top three things’ at the dinner table and my daughter started journaling as she saw me do it every day.
Researching the issues
I wanted to give both kids a simple journal but couldn’t find what I wanted, so set out to make something that incorporates all those habits that science has shown to help us lead happier lives and encourage a growth mindset. Fast- forward to summer 2018 and the journal is going to print having been tested with dozens of children, aged 6 to 12. I’ve completed an online course at the University of California, Berkeley to delve deep into published papers underpinning the science of happiness; looked at how schools are introducing the growth mindset concept; spoken to experts in child psychology and education as well as numerous parents and teachers.
Finding my own answers
The result is a really simple daily journal that can be completed in less than a few minutes. It is beautifully illustrated and with plenty of variety to keep kids engaged, all the while developing important habits that will set them up for life. I’ve also started a podcast called The Curious Parent to explore the wider topic of the skills children need these days to be world-ready. And over on the blog I write about our own experiences and experiments when it comes to raising our world-ready kids. These were the answers I found to the issues facing my kids and many like them. I’m confident they will help your kids’ too.
My kids have been instrumental in helping make the content just right and have been my inspiration all along. So from my family to yours I hope this journal gives your children the foundations for a happy and balanced life.