Jim Daly Christian Blog and Commentary

A Unique Way to Encourage Your Children

  • Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2013 Sep 23

If you listened to today’s broadcast on the importance of parents encouraging their kids, you may have heard me mention that I keep journals for my boys, Trent and Troy. Since it’s a bit of a passing comment within the broadcast, I want to expand on that remark here in my blog and share with you what my journaling looks like and what motivated me to start.

As you may know, my own father wasn’t around for much of my childhood. He struggled with alcoholism, and he and Mom divorced when I was just 5. As a result, I missed out on having a dad pour into me and give me those life lessons that help a boy grow into a man. So when it came time for me to become a father, I knew I had to do things differently.

Journaling for my sons has become one of those simple ways I invest into their lives. While Jean was still pregnant, I bought our first baby a journal that I could fill in as he grew up. I’ve slowly been filling up the 200-some pages in each book with an eccentric mix of things – ticket stubs from games we’ve been to together and stories from our family history. I write in those books during important milestones in the boys’ lives.

I want them to know what’s important in life, so I also include wisdom I’ve learned from other people, as well as Scripture and spiritual applications. I tell them about my hopes for them, as well as some reflections on my own life.

My sons know that Dad is working on these journals, a gift they’ll receive when they turn 18. I’ve taken those journals with me during my travels, so even when I’m not physically with my boys, they know I’m thinking of them and praying for them.

I wish I would’ve had this type of encouragement from my own father. That wasn’t the case for me – but I can write a different story for Trent and Troy. I want them to know how much their dad cares for them, prays for them and loves them.

We’ll never be perfect parents – but perfection isn’t our goal. Our kids will thrive when they know their parents love and care for them. Journaling is just one way I show my boys that.

Perhaps this idea will inspire you to do the same – and perhaps this isn’t your speed and you’ll show your own kids your commitment to them in a different way. That’s OK. What’s important is that we’re demonstrating our love, and encouraging our children daily. Our kids will be better, more secure and resilient adults because of it.

I’m curious to know what you do to encourage and invest in your kids? Please share your ideas so other parents can benefit from what you’ve learned.

If you want to listen to today’s broadcast featuring Dr. David Jeremiah on encouraging and affirming our kids through four simple acts, you can access it online here.

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