One of the hardest things about “Inner Work” is that it’s invisible, it’s hard to measure, it’s hard to show off, it’s hard to quantify.
How do you measure things like this…
How much you love yourself.
How much peace and calm you feel within you.
Whether your self-talk is positive or negative.
Your mindset when life gets hard.
Sometimes you may be able to sense the changes within yourself but it can be hard to quantify or explain. Measuring and noticing it in someone else like your kids can be even harder.
We crave the statistics, report cards, assessments, scores… without that how would we know if something is working or not, and if we are doing the right things?
As a parent we get inundated with stats and measurements from the very beginning - assessments, growth percentiles, grades, wins, SAT scores, GPA.
So naturally that is where our focus goes… the things where we can see and feel good about the progress and improvement. And before we know it we tie those things to our measure of “success” as a parent because it’s complicated and difficult to measure “happy” and “content” and "authentic."
When we set out to create Hatch Brighter we tried to come up with ways for parents to measure the progress and success of what we were providing because we understand the value in this and the reassurance it can give all of us.
But we didn’t just want to give parents a false sense of accomplishment or reassurance by tracking how many times they did something. It’s often not that simple even though it may feel good to see the numbers.
Each child is different, their experiences are different, what stage they are in in life is different. So how do you measure the Inner Growth, how strong their sense of Self-Love is... and so on?
As more and more kids have been using our journal, we have been receiving so many stories of how parents are noticing the positive changes in their kids. Parents are finding their own ways of measuring the “success” and “progress” as their kids use the journal over several weeks.
We want to share one of these stories in hopes that it will help give you ideas on how to "measure" progress with invisible things like Self-Love.
Story of How a Parent Measured Growth with “Self-Love” in his 11 Year Old Daughter
In the beginning I had to nudge my daughter to do the journal because she was reluctant at first. Finally she said “Ok, lets do it.” We started with the first daily journal entry. She read the first question: “What’s ONE thing you love about yourself?” She froze, stared at the book for 10 minutes and said “I don’t know what to write Dad.” I gave her suggestions and ideas but she still couldn’t do it.
Finally she broke down into tears.
I was shocked. I thought I had a confident and healthy young girl. It was such an eye opening experience for me to see her struggle with self-love. It was a great reminder for me that self-love is such an important topic and why it is important to start at an early age.
She continued to do the journal over the next several weeks. Two months later I asked my daughter what she thought about the journal. She said “It’s fine…sometimes I forget to do it. I’m not sure if I learned anything.”
So I decided to ask her the very first question we started with where she broke down into tears… “What do you love about yourself?” Without skipping a beat she said “I love myself, I love my hair, I love my humorous personality, I love who I am.” She could have gone on and on. WOW! What a big turnaround from Day 1. The journal works!
Deep breath 😌…. these are the moments where Amna and I shed tears of joy.
THIS is why we created this journal, this is why we are passionate about getting it into as many little hands as we can.
We want every child in the entire world to be able to answer the question "What do you love about yourself" without skipping a beat.
Kudos to this dad who supported his daughter through her journey, stayed by her side and found his own way of measuring whether the journal was helping.
Growth in these areas of our life can be subtle and not presented to us in the ways that we are used to. Resist the urge to ignore or de-prioritize these things over the things we can measure like academics and sports.
How to measure “Inner Growth” in our children:
ASK A QUESTION: Asking questions is a great way of getting to peek into your child's mind and inner thoughts. As parents, it can help us become aware of their Inner World in that current moment. Some questions around Self-Love may be: "What do you love about yourself?" "How were you true today?" "Did you listen to your heart today?" They may not understand the question or give the answers you are hoping for. That's ok. This is just to get a "measure" of where they are today and see the opportunities for growth.
TEACH & DO: Now we do and focus on the topic of Self-Love. Whether it's our journal and stories, or another resource out there, find fun activities, stories and questions around Self-Love that you and your child can explore together for a few weeks. This helps them deepen their understanding of Self-Love, learn the vocabulary, make their own connections through storytelling.
ASK THE QUESTION AGAIN: Ask the question again like the Dad in the story above did with his daughter. See and notice how their answers change over time. Listen to how they talk about things that happen with friends or at school, and notice any changes in how they say their truth, create boundaries, stand up for themselves.
The most magical things in life are hard to measure and are invisible but they are, without a doubt, the most important. Don’t let the lack of stats and scores make you deprioritize Inner Work and Growth for you or your kids.
Our Inner World - self-love, intuition, thoughts, emotions, self-worth is the foundation upon which our entire lives stand.