It was a couple of years ago that I first came across the Big Life Journal. As I read what the purpose of the book was and the content, I knew I had to buy it for my son. It was a Christmas gift. It arrived in the mail and as I flicked through it, I remember thinking to myself that these activities are amazing! They were activities that get kids dreaming big, setting goals, changing their mindsets, reflecting, thinking positive, being creative and embracing mistakes. I loved the inspiring short stories. What mattered most is that he loved it and got into it straight away.
The Big Life Journal is part of his life every week. He has a schedule of his weekly activities after school each day, and the journal features there along with his other regular activities. What he likes is that the chapters are short and completely achievable. He loves the short stories too. I love him learning about famous inventions and people who achieved great things because they didn’t give up. They weren’t afraid of making mistakes. They learned from their mistakes and never gave up. The Big Life Journal is an important part of our lives, helping him to become resilient and think positive.
As time has gone on, I subscribed to their mailing list and every week I receive the most amazing printables and downloads! I also purchased some of their downloadable kits. My son is working his way through those too. He picks what he would like to do. Only a few months ago, Big Life Journal launched the first growth mindset podcast for children! (Available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify). Both of my children absolutely love the podcast, and my youngest one in particular seems to have a passion for it! It is so much fun to listen to Zara and Leo’s adventures, with humour and fancy sound effects, but overall there’s always a great lesson the kids are learning! I link my phone to my car’s bluetooth system and we all listen on our way somewhere.
I’m so excited and grateful to have the opportunity to interview co-founder Alexandra Eidens about how it all started and where the concepts for the books come from. I can’t recommend Big Life Journal enough!
Tell us about you. What inspired you to be involved with mindset education for children?
In 2017, my husband Scott and I created Big Life Journal. Both of us are obsessed with personal development and at that time we were looking for resources to help translate everything we were learning about mindset, hard work,perseverance into a child’s language.
We knew other parents like us wanted their children to be confident and resilient with high self-esteem and ambition to achieve great things in life. But there were not many resources to help parents and teachers do that.
So, inspired by our son Michael, we created Big Life Journal so that he and other children can grow up to be positive, resilient, and confident and strive to achieve great things in life.
What are the characteristics of a fixed mindset and a growth mindset?
When a person has a fixed mindset, he/she
- Ignores feedback
- Gives up easily
- Avoids challenges
- Frustrated by mistakes
- Thinks mistakes are bad
When a person has a growth mindset, he/she
- Learns from failure
- Puts in effort
- Keeps trying
- Embraces challenges
- Learns from feedback
What was your intention or vision for the Big Life Journal?
In 2017, my husband, Scott, and I decided to create child-friendly resources to help them develop a growth mindset. We had experienced first-hand the life-changing benefits of a growth mindset and, once we became parents, we began searching for personal development tools that we could use with our son.
How did you come up with the concepts in the books?
We were only able to find concepts of mindset, resilience, and self-esteem for adults and weren’t able to find any resources specifically designed for children.
We decided to create our own resources using language and stories kids could relate to and easily understand. We launched a Kickstarter project, and it quickly gained momentum. Through support from parents and educators, we raised enough to fund the first print of Big Life Journals.
Since then, Big Life Journal has continued to grow, with word quickly spreading around the world! Today, Big Life Journal resources are used in hundreds of thousands of homes and schools around the world and the community has grown to over 500,000 parents and educators.
The Big Life Journal Kids Edition asks kids to talk with their journal buddy. How can we be a good journal buddy?
Engage, listen, stay consistent and have fun! Share your stories with your kids. Don’t be afraid to share your mistakes and dream big together.
We wrote a short guide for parents on how to make the most of their Big Life Journal and it has lots of helpful tips for the journal buddies.
How should we manage the moments when our child makes mistakes, and they have been trying really hard?
Children need to know that EVERYONE makes mistakes and that making mistakes is a good thing! We need to help them understand that we can learn from our mistakes and that mistakes help us grow. We can talk through the process with them and we can let them know about mistakes that WE have made and how they helped us. When we make mistakes, our brain learns and grows and that is amazing!
Is the way we praise children important?
Yes! Praise can benefit motivation and self-esteem, but these effects aren’t always lasting. Our ultimate goal should be to nurture our child’s intrinsic motivation. We don’t want kids to become addicted to praise, motivated solely by external approval. As much We want them to be motivated internally. They should want to make an effort, perform well, learn, and grow because it is personally satisfying. Effective praise, given at the right time, can nurture intrinsic motivation.
What should we say when our child has tried really hard to reach their goal and failed?
I think it’s important that we explain to kids that failing is part of life. Just because we fail at something, doesn’t mean that we have to give up our goal or dream–we just might need to approach it differently.
Help them problem-solve and talk through why they might have failed. What was in their control or not? What could they try next time? Share your own failures with your kids and even research famous failures in history. You will see that just because people failed, they didn’t give up!
Tell us about the Big Life Kids Podcast.
Our podcast teaches children to stay resilient, believe in themselves, and face life’s challenges with confidence. In each episode of Big Life Kids podcast, Zara and Leo travel the world to discover heros that are making a difference in our world today!
The podcast accompanies our Big Life Journal – 2nd Edition making it a fun learning experience for kids!
Will we be seeing another edition of the Big Life Journal? We just released the second edition of the Big Life Journal for kids! This journal is completely different from the 1st edition (no repeated content). We are thrilled with all the positive feedback we’ve received so far and the new journal goes hand-in-hand with the Big Life Kids podcast!
Alexandra Eidens is the co-founder of Big Life Journal.
Alexandra and her team are on a mission to help children develop a growth, resilient mindset so they can face life’s challenges with confidence.
Together with her team, Alexandra creates engaging resources such as journals and printable kits for ages 4 and above. Earlier in 2019, Big Life Journal launched the very first growth mindset podcast for children called Big Life Kids podcast which reached the top charts of iTunes around the world.
Get ready to dream BIG! This growth mindset journal empowers children to face challenges head-on, think positive, embrace mistakes, and know they can achieve anything!
Featuring a new and interesting topic every week, the Big Life Journal develops strong Social and Emotional Learning and growth mindset skills through inspiring stories, colorful illustrations, and engaging guided activities.
With plenty of room to draw and write on each page, the Big Life Journal lets kids work at their own pace as they reflect, learn, and grow.
A growth mindset journal which empowers tweens & teens to dream about their future!
Help your tween or teen develop the mindset of growth, resilience, gratitude, and positivity. Help them find their own voice in a world that is constantly coming at them with what to do, be, and think.
Big Life Journal – Teen Edition helps tweens and teens develop confidence…the deep down, know-who-you-are confidence!
It encourages them to discover themselves and gets them excited about limitless possibilities ahead.