Reflective Journal Prompts on Parenting

 Just start. If you're trying to start the habit of journaling, try answering some of these questions next time you sit down to write.

Journal prompts come in all shapes and sizes for parents.

If you want to get closer to your children

If you want to be closer to your daughter, son, teenager

If you want to inspire your children to draw

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How to start the family working together?

How to start the family working together

Getting the family working together can seem like an uphill task.

As part of the back to school series, we are looking at ways to have a happier school year for everyone. Around the middle of the last school year you were doing a lot, maybe even too much. The children are growing and so should their responsibility within the family. I know it is easier if you do it yourself but we’re raising children to become adults so much of what we do is training, trying new things and encouragement. Today it is time for the family.  Looking at these areas and ask what are they like in my family right now?


Many things happen by chance but we need to decide how we want our family to be and often work backwards to get to the goal. Are we an intentional family? What are we intentional about?

Areas to consider

meal times, bedtimes, homework before play, play before homework, contributions, reading, media, sports, nature ________ ?


Often our disposable income encourages us to spend more than we give and our children misunderstand the value of spending time and giving of themselves. It’s something we have to actively teach through our actions.

Areas to consider

unnecessary gifts ( supermarket, errand to the shops, pressured at the till), lack of age appropriate regular contributions, serving in age appropriate ways, giving of ourselves with no expectations of receiving.


Good habits formed at youth make all the difference- Aristole

It’s the habits we teach our children that they lean on and keep. What habits are we teaching them about family working together?

  1. Start by making sure you and your partner are on the same page with what you mean by the family working together and what it is that you will be working together as a family on. Do you want everyone to learn to sort, wash, dry and put away their laundry? or cook a meal once a week? Be ready in the morning independently?  Not take each other’s things without asking? Walk the dog? Whatever the thing or things be united on one thing.
  2. Set an age appropriate goal and time limit. These are for us as parents to reevaluate and alter as needed. With young children the season is different to a mixed household where children span elementary, middle and a babe in arms.

There are many ways that this next stage happens and it really depends upon your family. One way that works is to call a meeting and share your vision. There’s often a lot of push back because we mostly don’t like change that means we have to do something.  The good thing is that the parents are united.

We become the sum of what we do all the time

Getting started…

Another approach is to take on each child at a time. During a connecting activity where you are together one on one where you’re usually sharing like going for a walk, washing dishes, folding laundry or sweeping the yard, start talking about how you learnt something from a family member. Talk about how families work together and how we’re going to do this more.

Set aside time to teach each part of the working together and expect there to be hiccups. Have grace and laughter come quickly to your lips than anything else as we boldly try to work together for the good of the family.

A great exercise for how the house runs is to list all the things that have to happen including the contributions.  Get the children to list all the things that they have to do. Ask them what they would like to learn how to do.

Take time to explain how and why you keep a diary and to do list and why the children should understand and start using one too. Comment about when things don’t run smoothly what happened. Give the children a chance to notice and adapt.

As parents we are driving this family. To avoid burnout and getting caught up in the now we have to set our own trail.

Entitlement depletes families. Habits are powerful. Intention moves families.


What type of family do you want to be?

Back to School: Family Values for the Month


Starting with family values as you start the school year. Let's get talking!

Family values help glue our families together. Yet we don’t often talk about it openly within our family or to our children. Our children learn our values from seeing what we do and watching others. It’s not until we see something happen right before our eyes that we realize that maybe we haven’t shared this value very well. A lot of what happens within family we just hope the children will just pick it up, get it and do it. The conversation though is what counts.

This school year we’re taking a closer look at character and values. We’re taking a whole month where we focus on a value we really want to see.

  1. the value goes on the electronic calendar so everyday I’m reminded of the value and how I can try and show it.
  2. the value will show up in our family roundtable discussion
  3. the value will show up as a dinner time conversation through a Character Conversation Card.( Buy a pack from my store)

Character Conversation Cards- a sample

Download your Character Conversation Card

How often?

Not everyday or all the time. But there is lots of opportunity to bring values into the open with video, news reports and recalled stories from the day.

One of our core family values is time and simplicity. There’s always time to stop and have a chat. Over a cup of tea and an English biscuit of course. Spending time together is important. It doesn’t mean it happens all the time. But we make time to find time because it is during this time with each other that we listen, laugh and learn.

We learn to be kinder, have more empathy, vent and disagree appropriately ( well we’re on our way- still not there yet!) Keeping family life simple and holding that space allows you to decompress during the week without a full timetable of activities. There will always be weeks where activities ramp up, we adjust but we become a lot more deliberate about holding us back to what we want to be.

Wonderfully we all have such different families.

We are swept along. We are influenced. We stumble.

We choose our direction.

Next steps…

Take a moment now to think of a value for the coming month.

Don’t make this hard.

Choose one from the printable that best fits your family. Sometime in that month talk about that value and in twelve months time you’ll have shared your values intentionally a minimum of twelve times spoken about things you wanted. It feels good to be ahead instead of catching up.

Talking about values helps us get ahead. Imagine how friendship groups with our children would be if you knew the families of your friends talked about friendship, being a friend, generosity, firmness, speaking up, speaking out, tolerance?

Celebrating Family Values. Which one is your focus this month?

Download this printable


Back to School Series

  1. Back to School: Figuring out the Family Media Plan

Family Meal Ritual Printable and Family goals and priorities for March

Family goals and priorities  for the month + a create your own family meal ritual printable

February has been a bigger blend of busy and slow. We’ve had a day here and there when we were going a lot but we then had lots of very slow days which seemed to even out everything. Mostly our days are slow and it’s learning how to navigate the busier days when they come along that’s often the more challenging for us and our family goals.

Birthday celebrations went well. Spring is birthday heavy in our families. We’re enjoying the ups and downs of the weather of frost one day and humid the next. I’m missing the daffodils. I need to find out when to plant them for next year.

Each month I’m sharing family and personal goals along with others and linking back to the previous month. I’d encourage you to join in too. Bit of accountability through a blog post or Instagram as we journey through motherhood.

Family goals

Here I’ll talk about the children and as parents the parenting things we’ll do and what we did.

We got a few short pillar candles and we’re glad to see them back.

Set up and clean up is improving. I wrote a two posts about our family meal ritual sharing what we’ve explored. It’s going to be an ongoing thing for them to get better and me to understand. Time to let them have time.

We didn’t finish the Island of Thieves- although we’re aching to find out what happens in the end. We know we’ll start The Academy next.  It’s a book we’ve started before as a read aloud but during the move and book rotation it disappeared. We were very happy to find it again.

The academy

I’m excited to be going to the Great Homeschooling Convention this month because the list of speakers feature so many of my favourites. So after the convention I’ll have some family goals to add. In the meantime we’ll get through these last few. Plus we have more birthdays and UK Mother’s day this month, we’re going to maintain our routines as we can and go with the flow as much as possible.

We completed, after lots of revisions our family quest scroll and that’s now hanging up by our dining table. We try and say it together 2  or more times together in the week. Keeping it top of mind.

Personal goals

Here I’ll talk about things for me.

  • Print a photobook or pictures to add to our wall.
  • Complete my next toastmasters speech
  • Completed The Traveller’s Gift and Nurturing the Soul of family. I’ve started the And the mountains echoed and dipping in and out of  A House United.
  • Unexpected bonus with the felted pebbles. We made them together and now use them as where we sit at the dinner table. One less argument over who is sitting at which map placemat. It’s also great to feel and fiddle with during dinner or conversations at the table. Originally it was just something for the table since the usual flowers and plants are not there.
  • Completely stalled on the journal- mislaid it! Found it! Mislaid it. Will try again.

Family Meal Rituals

Rituals that are simple, repeatable year on year and express love and family.

This month download your creating a family meal ritual to plan your own family flow.

family meal ritual cover

Free Printable

Hosted by Mama Smiles, Multi Crafting Mummy, Kitchen Floor Crafts,
3 Dinosaurs, Something 2 Offer, Play Activities, and Study At Home Mama.

Family goals and priorities for February

Family goals and priorities Feb

Although I love making goals I need some accountability in reaching them.

I’m sure I’m not alone there. Since I’m a big believer in scheduling things to get it done I’m also good at rescheduling and bumping myself of my own schedule. Just to be transparent. So in a bid to get more of the positive things I want and dream for the family started I’ve joined a new linky where we share our monthly goals.

Started is a better way ( instead of word of the year) for me in 2015. Many times I flesh out an entire project or idea and something happens and I can’t see how it can fit anymore. The whole thing gets benched. But if I get started then there is a chance to continue. When I stop it’s not a stop it is a pause. I can dive right back in. With this in mind, all the goals are things I want to do but most of all get started, keep going and be consistent. If I don’t keep going I can circle back around and once I get past keeping going then the point is to remain consistent.

I don’t have a hard time with this system although it might seem like a get out of jail free card. Our home life ebbs and flows depends on work, health, life and the kids. While there are some rigid things there’s also plenty of flexibility. The problem is keeping account of where you deduct you time from when you’re flexible.

I’m going to share two areas; family goals and personal goals.

I’d designed the Simple Parenting and Play Planner out of the need to have more of our family dreams and ideas a chance to actually come to light. So I’ll sometimes share what I’m doing with my planner too.


Family goals

Here I’ll talk about the children and as parents the parenting things we’ll do.

  • Find a just right pillar candle for dinner. We had one before we moved but you can’t take candles with you when you move overseas. I just noticed that it’s missing from our dinner ritual.
  • Work with the kids for a better and more effective set up and clean up at dinner time. It’s almost there but a few key parts are missed. I’m really looking for pride in doing a good job because we stopped to observe that it was complete, not that it was done perfectly. Many times I call the boys back for something because they got distracted and didn’t finish. When I call them back and say, ‘ Can you see something that’s not right?’ they can. I want to see fewer call backs and them saying a mantra or doing something to do that final look over. So when I ask them that question they can say no. Done not perfect is what I think.
  • Read aloud before the bus in the morning:
    The Island of Thieves   and complete this book by the end of the month and find a new one.
  • During our Family Roundtable: talk about family trips, places to see and things to do from the planner

Personal goals

Here I’ll talk about things for me.


Birthday Rituals

February is a birthday month so there’s the fun of the birthday rituals to plan.

Rituals that are simple, repeatable year on year and express love and family.

Simple love birthday rituals printable
free printable


Be sure to check out more monthly goal setting

hosted by Mama Smiles, Multi Crafting Mummy, Kitchen Floor Crafts,
3 Dinosaurs, Something 2 Offer, and Play Activities.

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