Monday, February 2, 2009

Review: Journal Buddies

Journal Buddies: A Boy's Journal for Discovering and Sharing Excellence by Jill Schoenberg

Description:Journal Buddies is a Mom's Choice Awards® Silver Recipient and is a fun, interactive journal intended to help adults (parents, teachers, mentors...) build and strengthen a boy's self-esteem.

This meaningful and creative journal is appropriate for kids ages 7 - 14 and may be used peer-to-peer, child-to-parent, student-to-adult or any combination thereof.

These powerful but simple journals are truly a fresh and invigorating take on journal keeping.

I was thrilled to review this journal when it was offered through Family Review Network . I have a son who is 10 years old and this is a great time to work through emotions and feelings and ways to build self esteem and confidence. This is the perfect type of journal to appeal to boys who aren't often encouraged to share "feelings" and "emotions"as it may not be considered "cool". This journal is unique as it is designed to be interactive and promotes creative journaling and it is fun. It's designed so that:

"...a boy and his Mom (or Dad or grandparent or mentor or teacher or friend...) are encouraged to work together as a team AND to write, draw, cut, paste, and create in their own unique journaling styles".

I like the buddy concept and that the child's buddy can be a friend or parent or anyone that they choose. Their buddy can be someone different every day if they would like. It's also a fun way to communicate with your child and promote their positive traits. I know that I can often catch myself focusing a bit more on the negative at times..."pick up this, you need to do that, don't forget to do this... etc". This journal focuses on finding and celebrating the positive, there is even a rule that criticisms and put-downs are not allowed.

There is a journal entry for each day(30 days in all) and each journal entry has four parts to it:

1. A thought for the day — things like words of advice and helpful

2. Qualities, traits and talents — where a child and their buddies
write down things that you like about each other.

3. A focus word for the day — an idea to explore or simply a word
to think about. They can talk about it, write about it, draw a picture
about it... or they can choose to do nothing about it. It’s up to them!

4. Blank pages — some are lined and some are not. These pages
are for thoughts and feelings, or drawings, art, poetry
or any other creative journaling ideas that they might want to try.

My son and I have started the journal and in his words, he "loves it"! He has said that it is a lot of fun. I like sitting down with him as his chosen buddy and talking about positive traits and qualities and see his eyes light up as he figures out what he wants to journal and create on his pages. There are no restrictions ,which he absolutely loves! He will definitely treasure this journal and it will be a wonderful keepsake to look back upon as well.

*There is also a girls journal called Journal Buddies: A Girl's Journal for Sharing and Celebrating Magnificence. This has been awarded the Dove Family-Approved Seal. "The Dove Foundation has established itself as a valuable resource for consumers seeking quality entertainment and programming that's suitable for their entire household,"says Jeff Yordy, VP of Marketing, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Journal Buddies interactive journaling systems for boys and for girls are both winners of the 2008 Mom's Choice Awards, an award that represents quality and ingenuity. Like other symbols of quality that consumers have come to rely on, the Mom's Choice Award on a product, service or media production alerts consumers its appropriateness for children. The Award is a symbol of family-friendliness that parents, educators, librarians, social service professionals and others rely on to help guide their purchasing decisions.

*I would highly recommend these journals for any child. I do think it would be especially helpful for a child who may be dealing with issues of self esteem, bullying or typical friendship angst that all kids work through. It encourages communication and in a spirit of fun promotes creativity and freedom of expression. These would make wonderful gifts for all boys and girls. I would have loved a journal like this when I was a young girl!

Make sure to check out the Journal Buddies Website for more information.

You can purchase Journal Buddies directly from the Journal Buddies Website and when you purchase the journal you'll receive an author signed copy, over $83 in bonus gifts, a 45 day money-back guarantee and a free pack of journaling supplies, a nice package for $16.95. You can also purchase an unsigned copy from Amazon.

Thanks to Family Review Network and Jill Schoenberg, author of Journal Buddies .

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