As her kids spend their time at home away from friends and teachers, one Brentwood mom is seeking to provide a source of encouragement and an outlet for her children to express their emotions during this time of self-isolation.
Ginger Baldwin, a local mother of two, said journaling has always been a part of her life and a way for her to express thoughts that are sometimes difficult to say aloud. During this difficult time for families, she decided to create two 20-entry “As I Am” daily journals to help children find the good in what is, at times, a not-so-happy situation.
“Kids are dealing with this in their own ways, differently than adults, so this is (just one of the ways) to get their minds out on paper. They might have worries that they’re scared to talk about but they can write about,” Baldwin said, adding that not knowing when they might see their friends or teachers next can weigh heavily on kids.
She explained these printable journals began as a project for her own two kids, ages 10 and 13. The original "As I Am" journal is full of Bible verses, encouraging quotes and reflective questions, and Baldwin later created a non-religious version (volume II) for teachers who may want to suggest the journal to their students.
She said even for an adult a blank journal can be daunting, so she wanted to provide some guidance for her children through these prompts.
“I just woke up one morning and started doodling and writing little prompts or questions that maybe would make them think about feelings and dig a little deeper,” Baldwin said. “So, I did it for my two children, and then I shared it with some friends. … So, it kind of just evolved from there.”
Now, she is selling the journals as printable downloads on Etsy, and she said she’s even heard from families using the journals as part of their kids’ reading and writing practice time.
Baldwin said the journals could even help kids discover a new means of processing their emotions.
“Those kids that don’t like to write maybe would never have gotten these little emotions out otherwise, so I think it’s been really awesome for mamas to think about that, to incorporate it into schoolwork,” she said.
Baldwin added that journal entries during this time will also serve as firsthand accounts of a remarkable time in history.
“A main reason why I wanted my kids to journal was because they are living in the pages of a history book and they don’t even know it,” she said. “I wanted them to write about this unprecedented time so it can act as a time capsule when we come out on the other side of this.”
Baldwin has also added a kids' stationery set so they can keep in touch with their friends while they're home from school.
“They can write their friends and be like pen pals during this time,” she said. “I know we have FaceTime, but I think it’s cool to get stuff in the mail, especially during this time — just anything interactive.”
To visit Baldwin’s Etsy shop, go to etsy.com/shop/LittleHappyPaperCo.