About this project
Connected Hearts Journal is a beautiful keepsake memory journal you put together with your kids.
And through the process, you connect with them, have conversations, teach important life lessons, build up their self-esteem and so much more!
Here are 10 Reasons Why You Should Get the Connected Hearts Journal
Do you want to be a part of your kids’ life when they are teens (and beyond)?
NOW is the best time to establish strong and easy communication channels with your kids.
Connected Hearts Journal is designed to do just that!
Between the guided questions, prompts, and the open spaces, you will have captured conversations, memories and so much more, making this a very unique time capsule, memory book, conversation log all rolled in one.
What good is a parent-child journal if you have to nag your child to do it with you, right?
So, we put in a lot of effort to make this journal into something your kids will be asking you to do with them instead of the other way around.
It all starts right at the box...
Every journal comes in a beautiful keepsake box which declares right at the top that this is a special gift for a very special child.
On opening the box, the first thing your child finds is a sealed envelope with a special letter for them.
This journal is designed specifically for elementary school aged kids.
And seriously, what child that age does not like receiving mysterious letters? And sealed ones at that!
The "letter" serves two purposes:
* It gives your child instructions on how to use the journal, thus putting them in charge
* And more importantly, it engages your child using a captivating story
The story in the letter is written specifically with elementary school aged kids in mind.
It is full of magic, loss and a winding quest with many ups and downs.
It reels your kids in while conveying a simple message: a close connection between parents and kids gives them both magical healing powers.
According to the letter, the journal is a leftover relic from the long lost civilization in the story. And any child who completes this journal with a parent to discover what makes them special, will gain special magical healing powers too.
The letter then nudges the children to convince their parents to do the journal with them, again putting the onus on them.
This tantalizing story, combined with the good feeling of discovering what makes them special (which the journal is designed for!) will have them asking you to do the journal with them instead of the other way around.
Flip through the pages below to read it (If you go into full screen mode, use the "two arrow" icon at the bottom right to come back here).
This is a joint journal designed to be completed together by a parent (or any other caregiver) and a child.
This offers a unique opportunity for you to use this time together to build up your kids!
While on the surface it is a journal, memory book or time capsule, under the hood, it is so much more!
In all, the journal has 23 different pre-defined topics that you can explore with your child (and room for 3 blank ones that you can fill to suit your child).
Oh, and the table of contents ties in beautifully with the backstory shared in your child's letter and also doubles as both a to-do list and an affirmations list.
The choice of the different topics to include was guided by research papers and some really awesome books, and is one of the things that makes this journal such a powerful parenting tool.
I've pulled insights from books on parenting, personal development and psychology into this journal so it can help you not just embrace but live the positive parenting philosophy.
Each line in the table of contents corresponds to a section in the journal.
Each of these sections starts with a cool coloring page. The artwork for these coloring pages is designed carefully so it's great fun to color in whether it is mom or dad, doing this with a daughter or son.
Our illustrator Nirali Patel is a mom of two and an artist who also teaches art professionally. She is very tuned into what both kids and grown ups like and has designed unique "progressive complexity artwork" for these coloring pages that is more complex at the top and gets progressively simpler at the bottom, so both you and your kids can enjoy coloring it in together.
The "meat and potatoes" part of the journal contains pages with questions for kids and prompts for parents chosen carefully to help you build up your kids one journal entry at a time.
A lot of thought and countless revisions have gone into getting this just right and help make conversations easy, while at the same time letting your capture your kids memories, and build them up.
We pull in elements from the coloring pages into the writing pages as well in case you need a few minutes between writing to think and ponder. Color them, or not. Either ways, they look beautiful.
And now for the coolest part of the journal... the "secrets" section.
At the bottom of each writing page is a small section asking your child if they have any secrets to share with you that day, and what they would like you to do once you've read the secret.
The secret itself is written in a separate, isolated section at the back of the journal, and the page number is copied over onto today's page.
This is my daughter's favorite part. Some of the things she writes feels trivial to me. And sometimes she is probably just fooling around.
But by honoring her wishes to either discuss the secret or not, I build trust into our relationship and pave way for more difficult conversations to come bubbling up down the line.
And of course, after all the thought and planning we've put in this, there's no way we're going to hold back on the quality of the final product!
The journal is printed on very high quality paper and comes as a fabric hardcover book.
There's a beautiful satin bookmark built right in, so you can stop whenever your child gets tired.
We use a durable lay-flat binding to make it super easy for you to work on it with your child.
Every journal comes in a sturdy, beautifully designed, keepsake magnetic closure box.
Because this is something your kids will want to keep and cherish for a long, long time to come!
We understand that every parent is busy and no two families have the same schedule.
So we deliberately kept this journal flexible so it can fit your unique schedule.
Every page is left undated so you can fill it in at your pace.
Combine this with our unique To-Do list style table of contents and you can do any section you like at any time you like.
Do you have a fixed night time routine? Then work this into it and it automatically becomes a daily journal. For each section, there is 1 coloring page and 6 pages with questions and prompts making this the perfect daily journal (Each section also has 2 blank pages if you want to explore the topic further).
Do you have free time on weekend? Then make this a weekend journal. Pick a lazy afternoon, grab coloring pencils and a couple of pens and work on any section of your child's choice.
Neither of those? No problem. Do this any time you have a few extra minutes on hand. In fact, it is just the right size for you to carry with you to soccer practice, gymnastics or piano lessons, so you can do it with one child while the other is taking lessons making this the perfect anytime, anywhere journal.
See #1 to #9 above. Seriously, can you think of any other product out there that is anything like this one?
Here, flip through the digital mini-version of the journal below to get a feel for it... (If you go into full screen mode, use the "two arrow" icon at the bottom right to come back here).
There are only so many people we can reach by ourselves. With your help though, we could potentially reach every parent on the planet!
So please, help us get the word out.
Talk to any parents you know who might be interested in this sort of thing -- word of mouth is a powerful thing.
Text or Whatsapp them.
Or use the easy buttons that we've put together below to reach them on social media.
You could also stand on rooftops and shout, but I've been told that's an arcane, outdated system which doesn't work anymore. So, maybe give that one a pass...
As a special thank you for helping us out, we've put together a little gift for you.
Once you share, please go here (or click on the image below) to provide us your email address and we will send you the e-book 101 Fun Things to Do With Kids to Enjoy Everyday Family Life + 4 printable coloring pages from the journal for you to color with your kids. These coloring pages make wonderful hand-made affirmations posters for your child's room... my daughter loves them!
And we're going to use the honor system with this. I'm not going to use any complex technology to make sure you've actually shared. As long as you tell at least one other person who might be interested in this, we're all good. Thank you!
As a valued backer of this project, you will be the first to receive mint copies of the journal fresh off the press.
Also, only our kickstarter backers will get the journal in time for next year's summer break. This is a great activity that can fit in perfectly in any summer schedule, so by the end of summer, you can have a beautiful, one-of-a-kind, keepsake memory book to cherish for a lifetime!
Check out our reward list below:
Risks and challenges
I have been working on this project for close to a year now. I have conducted numerous surveys and shared the evolving versions of the journal with countless parents from our community. We have gone back to the drawing board to redo a few parts from scratch, and iterated with minor improvements several times over. I am confident at this point that from the conceptualization and design perspective, we are good and the risk is low.
This is however a physical product and as such, there are inherent risks involved in bringing this to life. We have partnered with a trustworthy publisher to print the journal and the beautiful keepsake box for us. We have picked a reliable freight forwarder and fulfillment center to make sure your reward gets to you in the best shape. Whatever obstacles come up with these aspects, we will tackle them with the same persistence and determination that has got us to this point.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The journal is designed for elementary school aged kids. So we recommend that your child is at least 5 years old by the time you start on this.
That said, you could do it with a younger child provided you are OK with doing most of the writing and use simple language as you write so your child can get something out of it.
With kids older than elementary school age, you will have to take it on a case-by-case basis. Some middle schoolers will probably enjoy the chance to do this with you, but probably not all.
Please flip through the sample mini-journal here to see how it might work for your child specifically: https://issuu.com/afineparent/docs/mini_journal_v3
Yes, it has been designed to work for both boys and girls.
The letter that comes with the journal specifically talks about doing this with parents.
The journal itself does not mention mom or dad. So it could be done by the child with any care giver.
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