“The Us Journal”: Spokane’s mom Eileen Grimes intentionally creates quality time with the kids

Eileen Grimes set out to create intentional time opportunities with her children.

So in 2018, Spokane’s mother began creating prompts and sketches to work on with her now 7-year-old son Liam, and then 4-year-old daughter Lily to build these one-on-one relationships.

After the pandemic, Grimes realized that the concepts she had created could have a wider impact. This month, she is launching her first book, “The Us Journal”, with 144 pages of interactive prompts aimed at ages 5-9 for a parent and child to brainstorm and talk.

“It was really more of an activity that I did with my kids before, putting together something to create an opportunity for us to connect,” said Grimes, a 2006 Gonzaga University graduate who went on to earn a master’s degree in education from the University of San. Francois.

“Once the pandemic hit, I went through all of this introspective research on my own. What do I want my inheritance to be in this world for my children?

“I really want to make an impact on this world and make it a little better. I thought, I made this project which is kind, loving, and connected. I want to share the work I was already doing with the rest of the world.

In September 2020, she took care of a more elaborate book. She launched a Kickstarter campaign in May, an effort that received a boost from actress Kristen Bell (“Frozen”, “The Good Place”).

Grimes has long followed Bell on social media and noticed one of Bell’s Instagram posts.

“She had this post where she was talking about small business during the (Kickstarter) campaign,” Grimes said. “I said, ‘If you’re looking to support a small business run by a mom that’s looking to change the world, then come see this,’ and she did.

“It was just through my interaction on Instagram. She reached out and said she would like to support the project, and did. It was amazing.”

It gave a big boost and Grimes finally surpassed his Kickstarter target. Thanks to the generosity of donors, Grimes said she decided to use some of the funding to donate her literature to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Inland Northwest.

Recently, she made a donation of 200 pounds “The Us Journal” to Ronald McDonald House in Spokane. She remembers a scare when she was pregnant with her son that indicated he had an abnormal heartbeat. The problem resolved over time, “but I remember the stress of that. If I can give families the opportunity to find some light in some of these difficult places, that’s what I want to do.

On its website loveasyouare.co, Grimes offers a way for people to donate books continuously at Ronald McDonald House, which provides accommodation for families in remote areas when children are hospitalized. She also hopes to partner with other nonprofits such as women’s shelters.

For retail orders, the $ 17 book is expected to be stocked at Wishing Tree Books in the South Perry neighborhood, or it can be ordered through Auntie’s bookstore, she said. Online orders can be placed through its website, Amazon, bookshop.org and the Collective Book Studio website.

Inside the journal, each page has an adult prompt and a child prompt, but you don’t have to do them in any order, Grimes said. Instead, the goal is to carve out moments together.

His life is busy. In addition to being an author, Grimes works full time in IT for an insurance company. She enjoys spending time keeping a collective journal with one of her children. They can draw next to the prompts or write. There is the freedom to do either.

“I wanted it to be open to anything that arouses the child’s interest and ability to open up, whether it be through writing, drawing or perhaps cutting out pictures in a magazine, ”she said.

“I want them to be able to have conversations without immense pressure to have to write. The goal is to have this individual and intentional time to sit together, get to know each other and be able to connect and communicate in this quality intentional time. It’s time together.

A prompt can ask about a favorite joke or explore an emotion.

A friend who ordered the book shared his comments with Grimes about an 8-year-old son who asks to work in the newspaper every night. “She thought she should plan the weather,” Grimes said.

“My kids love to do it,” she added. “Especially once we got the official book, they wanted a copy for themselves right away. We played it. I like to call it playing; I don’t want this to sound like a professional activity they have to do.

“My daughter is a bit younger so it’s more of a topic of conversation for us. We draw a little, and while we do, we talk about other things as well. It gives me time to work only with my son, whether it’s five minutes, 15 minutes or 20 minutes.

She remembers growing up as one of six children and it was difficult to get that individual time.

Grimes said she wanted her kids to know that it’s important to have intentional time with her, so later on they can always come back, “and know they’re in a safe place so they can. have open communication “.

His next plan is to create a teen version of the interactive journal, especially with the increase in adolescent mental health issues since 2020. “I want to get this out ASAP to help support this and open doors to communication between children. and the family.”

Although there is a reference to “parent,” the book could be used by any adult in a trusting relationship with a child. Grimes said she intentionally wrote the prompts in a way that was inclusive.

“I didn’t write it saying mum or dad, daughter or son so that it can be inclusive for anyone who identifies with a gender perspective, whatever roles they have within. family, ”she said. “Not all families are traditional and I wanted all families to be included.

“Even with the house prompts, I didn’t intentionally say house because not everyone has a house. I wanted to make sure that any family could have these conversations and feel included to have those kind of bonding together and feel good about it. “


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