Positive Psychology is one of my favourite subjects and it is super important to me that I teach my daughter some of the core messages championed here, from growth mindset and mindfulness to gratitude practices. I really believe that learning these things at an early age can transform our children’s relationship with their mental health as they grow up. As a result, I am always looking for fun ways to incorporate these things into my daughter’s life so discovering My Happy Journal was a dream. I reached out to founder Kirsty to find out more…
Hi Kirsty. Welcome to No Mum Is An Island. I am a great believer that no mum or dad should have to do everything themselves, we can’t possibly know it all, and we need all the support we can get, there is a wealth of information out there to help us upgrade our parenting experience, to make our lives easier and this website is a hub for just that! We love you have upgraded your life by combining your love of books and journaling with your need to connect with your children, then shared it with the world.
Some say “A journal is better than any computer game or app; “ Can you explain why?
I love technology in certain circumstances it’s absolutely phenomenal. I do, however, feel that writing things by hand is more effective and better for us than typing. Writing things by hand has been scientifically proven to aid memory retention and learning. There is a mental state of flow that is exceedingly difficult to achieve on tech. Handwriting practice and drawing with physical pens and pencils is also extremely important for children and quite frankly I don’t feel that a hand-drawn picture is as fun on a computer! I’m sure millions of artists and graphic designers may disagree, but I think we all must have the basics, or we may lose these skills and the beauty of the physical connection to something we make or write.
How can you get your hands covered in glitter or paint on a tablet?
I also like the written word for the future factor. I have boxes and boxes of drawings and letters my children have done and a big box of journals I made when I was very young. There is something fabulous about rediscovering these things at a later date. Personally, I wouldn’t swap an app or a computer game for a memory you can touch, re-read, rediscover and reconnect with any day!
Can you tell us more about My Happy Journal?
Ohhhhh ……were should I start? The actual journal or the why? (serious thinking face )
My Happy Journal is a creative positive mindset journal for children aimed at the age range roughly between 5 – 11. The concept of My Happy Journal is designed around mindfulness, creativity, imagination and connection.
Its A5, flex bound, wipe clean (important for jammy or muddy hands) with 90 undated journal entries for the child to write and draw about the favourite parts of their day. It is filled with positive quotes and affirmations; each page has a fun fact and its jam packed with fun creative activities. The activities are designed to encourage moments of calm, imagination, and flow.
The why! The idea for My Happy Journal started AGES ago, well about 2015, but the first edition was printed in Autumn 2017.
I work full time and I used to spend a lot of time traveling for work, this meant I was often away from home. I felt was missing out on the daily joys of my children. I constantly felt guilty and sad that there were so many little things that they were experiencing or doing that I simply did not see or hear about.
When I was home in the evening we started talking about the favourite parts of their day at bedtime, this was always my absolute favourite part of the day.
I was keen to create a way of recording their daily triumphs and things which were important to them in their day. That way I could experience them through their eyes when I was at home.
I wanted something more than a diary, as my children would have seen it has homework or a chore to be completed rather than an experience in itself. The idea was to make something that celebrated their magical ‘normal’ everyday moments, aided their mental health development and inspired positivity.
After about 10 million iterations on PowerPoint my friend helped with the graphics and the first edition was born!
Can you give us some examples of activities in My Happy Journal that encourage a positive mindset?
There are lots of different things within the journal that encourage a positive mindset. Design yourself as a superhero, celebrate your uniqueness, make your own happy jar, things I would like to try pages, using the weather to describe your feelings (so the child learns feelings and thoughts are not permanent) and the list goes on……….
What is your favourite gratitude practice and why is it important to foster gratitude in children?
My favourite practice is to journal! I write down my thoughts and feelings at night before I go to bed, I find it clears my mind and ensures I go to sleep with a positive mindset. I give thanks each morning and evening for the little moments of joy in the day. I set intentions for the day before I get out of bed and practice meditation so I can be more in the moment.
In my opinion, it is extremely important to foster gratitude in children as it aids with resistance, decreases anxiety, improves mental health and wellbeing, increases feelings of happiness, encourages joy and celebration of the little moments. This in turn will aid in the child’s capacity for resilience when they are adults. I think mindset and well-being should be a key part of learning for all ages but if we teach it to children now, when they are older it will be inbuilt rather than something they need to learn.
Celebrating and capture children’s daily joys is such a beautiful practice what has been your child’s most unexpected daily joy?
Oh gosh, there are literally hundreds of things they have said that are completely unexpected or not what I would have picked if I was thinking about their day.
Every night when we do: What was your favourite parts of your day? My children continually surprise me with their answers. We all see and experience the world through different eyes and viewpoints. I feel privileged that my children share their opinions and viewpoints with me. Making My Happy Journal together as a family has improved our family communication, connection, ability to talk about things that are perhaps troubling my children. Their viewpoint on some of the highlights of their day have definitely made us smile more and their creativity and imagination has inspired many a bedtime story. I love celebrating the little things.