Picture It Tuesday: Journal

I am currently reading a very frightening horror story helpful parenting book entitled Little Girls Can Be Mean: Four Steps to Bully-Proof Girls in the Early Grades. With each anecdote from the authors, I flash back to elementary school and remember that time when Friend A stopped talking to Friend B and how friend Friend C and I had to pick sides. The social pressure was intense…in the fourth grade!

I don’t want my daughter to have to stay awake at night worrying over which friends she’ll still have in the morning…or *gulp* how to avoid the classroom bully. I certainly don’t want to find out that she IS the classroom bully!

So when I ran across this book, the title called to me, and I jumped at the chance to learn those critical four steps: observe, connect, guide and support to act. Half-way through the first chapter, I had found the perfect strategy to start both me and the Young One down the path of social crisis management when the authors recommended journaling as a way for daughters to express their emotions. Even kindergarten daughters, like my own, can journal, they said–their journals just include more pictures than words.

“Perfect!”, I thought, and off I went to my favorite discount store in search of a Kindergartener journal. First stop: Office Supplies, where I was surrounded by a plethora of notebooks, diaries and planners.

After a brief distraction from the cutest shoe-clad notebooks ever made…

My Notebooks…I moved on, bypassing anything floral or pink. (The Young One has no patience for anything as frilly as princess pink posies.) I finally settled on a bright chevron patterned yellow spiral bound notebook complete with zipper pouch….

NotebookUp next: writing instruments. The Young One’s art supply box runneth over, but she has yet to discover the joy of gel pens. A set in rainbow colors found its way into my shopping cart…

PensMy new favorite self-help authors recommended stickers as a creative way for the youngest of journalers to express themselves, so off I went in search of a set of stickers that would foster her creativity without breaking my bank. I finally found them in the Party Supply aisle (yes, party supplies)–a pack of 340 stickers for less than a penny a sticker!

StickersI took my finds home and set about packaging my gift of expression…

Journal with pensThen I waited nervously for her to return from school, hoping she would find excitement at my gift instead of boredom. I also kept my fingers crossed that she had absolutely nothing of a social crisis nature to document within its pages. I hadn’t gotten far enough into my anti-mean girl lessons to know how to respond.

Finally, the time had come. As we drove home from the bus stop, I teased, “I have a surprise for you.”

I could feel her bouncing in the seat behind me as she squealed, “Oh! What is it? What is it?”

“Don’t get too excited,” I warned, “It’s not a toy.” I didn’t need her hopes up for a Power Ranger action figure and then find out I only got her paper.

Inside the house, she eagerly followed me to the desk where with two hands, I presented the spiral bound notebook.

“This is a journal,” I said, and at her quizzical look, I added. “It’s like a diary.” One of her favorite episodes of Full House features the wealth of secrets stored in big sister DJ’s diary.

“You can put anything in it you want. You can draw pictures and decorate it.” I turned the cover to the pouch with her new journaling supplies.

She drew in a breath. Her eyes grew round, and she started bouncing once again as a smile bloomed across her face. “A diary? For me?”

I suddenly felt little arms wrapped around my middle. “Oh! Thank you! Thank you, Momma!”

Seconds later, she was deep in thought on the staircase…

…scribbling stick figures, applying stickers and sharing her desires.

“Look, Momma,” she said with a pat of my hand. “This is me,” she pointed to the figure on the right, “and I’m turning into a Ninja to save the world!”

NinjaWhew! Now all I need to do is figure out what to say when the bad guys turn into mean girls.

6 thoughts on “Picture It Tuesday: Journal

  1. My Princess is in sixth grade. She’s journaled for a long time, and it has really helped. The girl drama started for her in third grade and peaked in fourth. It’s settled down now, but since she’s in middle school, I’m fully expecting a new flood. Good for your girl!

  2. This. Is. Beautiful. What a sincere, insightful and special moment to share with us. My daughter is almost five and I see and feel the brewing passion for reading and writing in her. It’s incredibly exciting and calming. I’m so happy she has a love of words and I suspect that she will be inclined to write them down or seek solace in a book. Of course that eases her Momma’s soul. I bet you were thrilled when she became so excited about this gift.

    I also wanted to tell you that I love the images that you add. It makes me want to start taking more of my own pictures.

    • Yes, I was very excited to see her enthusiasm for the journal. She quickly “wrote” in it…then hid it…then told everyone where she hid it!

      I usually add pictures to my writing, but I wanted to try this Picture It feature as a way to start the story with the pictures and then add the words. It accomplishes two things…writing on a regular basis and taking more creative pictures! It’s been fun.

  3. Wonderful post. You write in such a relatable manner, so clever but yet so accessible. I’ve a feeling I’ll be diving in to the treasure trove that must be your archive on Sunday, my day of rest!

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