I started a journal for my son when I was pregnant. I documented what I was reading to him while in the womb, when I felt his first moves and different milestones as they happened, to name a few. It was therapeutic for me and brought me comfort to know that one day he will use it to connect back to himself. After birth, I continue to do it til this day. I am eternally grateful to my mother for introducing journaling into my life. As a child, you don’t understand the impact of a diary, until you realize that you are doing it in adulthood.
A journal is a great way to help you deal with your feelings through self-reflection, which will eventually lead to introspection. It helps you to relieve stress through a healthy coping mechanism that gives back to you. When you journal, you are organizing and prioritizing your concerns, problems, and possible fears. It gives you the power to keep track of your day…and maybe other people.
What Is Positive Parenting?
Did you know that you can actively journal as a form of positive parenting? Hell, I didn’t know that I was doing it until I read about it in an online parenting magazine. Now, before we go into what positive parenting encompasses, we have to address the four different parenting styles because parenting is not binary. It is possible to ebb and flow…or take pieces from different styles to tailor what works best for your child.
Research published in 1966 shows that there are four different parenting styles:
- Authoritarian parenting focuses primarily on obedience; this style heavily uses punishment over discipline that lacks respect for their child’s autonomy. Children of this style of parenting are more likely to develop self-esteem issues because they grew up believing that their opinions are not valid. This style is high in expectations that are implemented with little warmth.
- Permissive parenting style doesn’t enforce any rules nor express any healthy boundaries; any consequences implemented do not stick. Therefore, children may not understand how to emotionally regulate and struggle with responsibility. This style is low in expectations but high in warmth.
- Uninvolved or Neglectful parenting style offers little to no nurturing, structure, and communication. Parenting of this style is without regard to the child’s emotional and moral development. Children of this style struggle with empathy and understanding the consequences of their decisions and how it impacts others in adulthood. This style has no expectations and no warmth.
- Authoritative parenting enforces the rules, but with the intent to create a positive relationship with their child; this parenting style takes the child’s feelings into account and reinforces good behavior. Researchers have concluded that children of this type of parenting are happy, responsible children who are comfortable expressing their opinions. This style has high expectations but does so with high warmth as well.
Now, with that being stated, what is positive parenting:
Positive parenting is providing structure and discipline by understanding how children think and feel, identifying goals for development, promoting problem-solving and doing so with warmth.
A few of the benefits of positive parenting are:
- Self-esteem and happiness
- Better parent-child relationship
- Better lifelong benefits (empathetic, emotional regulation, optimum brain development and more)
- Higher internalized morals
Let’s be clear, positive parenting will take practice. Often we are attempting to parent our children from our ego and don’t realize how damaging that is for a child’s self-esteem and development. Yes, they are our child, but constant yelling and “because I said so” is not the best route to go. I want to foster critical thinking and problem solving and the best way to do that is to nurture it. It is innate for our children to question the world around them, including us. A two-year-old knows how to talk, walk, and feed himself. He thinks he has it all figured out. Do you not see the confidence they exude already?
Again, let me be clear, it is not a walk in the park. I have to catch myself often. It takes time to stop, get down to eye-level, address his feelings, and explain why I am providing that instruction. It starts with communication as the foundation; with yourself and your child. Positive parenting requires that you actively are mindful and take a step further by healing your inner wounds. For now, we will start here, but later I will have a blog post that goes deeper into positive parenting as a whole.
What Are Journal Prompts?
Journal prompts are questions that help to get you thinking about what to write. Depending on your goal for journaling, the prompts could have the intention for healing, desire check and helping to gain a better sense of self.
I use my journal for quite a few purposes. If I am angry, I channel that energy into my journal. I write in my journal when I am feeling unsure about myself. If I want to document my goal progress, I do it there as well. These are just examples and are not the only uses for my journal.
Journal is divination because of how easily the answers flow from your mind (through the prompts). You are receiving divine guidance and this shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Positive Parenting Journal Prompts
- Who are what inspires you to be a better parent?
- What are your current goals are a parent?
- What are you current goals for your child(ren)?
- What do you want your child(ren) to remember most about their childhood?
- Fill in the blank. As a parent I ______________.
- List your top 3 strengths and how they impact your family.
- List your 3 weaknesses and how they impact your family.
- What did your child do today that was new in their development and growth? How did this impact you?
- What triggered your mom rage today? Was it a messy home, lack of self-care, mommy comparisons and etc?
- What is the best and worst parenting advice that you have ever received? Why?
- Write a letter to your child for age 10, 15 or 20.
- How do you recharge your mind and body? How can you improve upon this?
- What is your favorite thing to do with your child(ren)?
- Are your expectations of yourself too high? Why or why not?
- Name one thing that you feel is keeping you from being the best parent that you can be to your child(ren). How can you change it?
- What makes your child feel most loved?
- Which of your child’s behaviors triggers you the most? Why? How can you change your response the trigger?
- Who do you trust for mom advice? Why?
- Write a letter to yourself on the accomplishments and advancements you have had in your parenting journey.
- Write a plan for a self-care day for your child(ren). Example, bubble bath with herbs, fruit bowl while in bubble bath with soft music playing.
- What piece of advice would you give another mother? Are you able to share it in a positive way with the mother?
- In what ways can your partner or co-parent provide support in your positive parenting journey? Are you able to share this in a positive way with your partner/co-parent?
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