Thank you to many of the generous students, who are happy to share their insights, in the hope that they can help you with yours.
For the protection of the writers and their families, I have not used real names.
Alex, our eldest boy, was up to no-good. He was either walking away from trouble or heading towards it. Trying to ground him was useless. Alex would just g out his bedroom window. I knew what he was up to but I could not say anything to my husband as we would end up arguing yet again. My husband wanted to punish Alex severely, but I wanted to reason with Alex. Maybe we could just hide this last problem for him, and hope he sees the error of his ways. I might even be able to get him to talk to a counsellor. We argued for hours about how to fix this problem. We went round and round in circles. Alex was taking all the family’s time and energy, while poor little Susie was being ignored.
Then a friend introduced me to journal writing with the cards. I wrote down all the details in my journal. What Alex had done, what my husband said, what I said, and what Alex said. I also wrote about how I felt about the situation. I let it ‘all hang out’, as instructed by the teacher. I did not stop until I had said it all. When I finished writing, I stopped and took a deep breath. Then I reread what I had written. Next I picked a card for the day which said ‘identity’. So I wrote that down. Then I wrote about the argument—and our problem from that angle. Suddenly, it seemed clear to me what we needed to do with Alex. It was so simple and glaringly obvious. I knew it was the right thing to do. We needed to talk to the school counsellor. She knew Alex and I had met her. She seemed like a sensible woman who I know had seen all this behavior before. We needed help with this one, and my husband and I needed to talk to someone together first, so we were on the same page. We did not have expertise in this field. It was all new to us. Amazingly my husband agreed.
Thankfully my journal took the brunt of all my emotion, so I could think clearly and carefully about our problem. I am so grateful for my journal—and the cards. (I hear the cards will be an App soon.) I can’t tell you how relieved I am that we have a way forward. Plus, my husband actually told the counsellor that he was relieved that I had thought of such a workable solution.