I know my kids. I know their favorites, their hobbies, and their moods. I know the best songs they like to dance to and the books they will probably choose at bedtime. I love knowing more about them than anyone in the world.
But as my children grow, I’ve realized that there is so much going on in their lives and in their minds that I have no idea about.
I know that with all the questions they ask me each day, they have questions they aren’t asking me out loud. I wanted to share one way I have found that has helped keep the lines of communication open during these growing years!
You’ve Got Mail – The Two Way Journal
My oldest daughter and I started sharing a journal about a year ago when she was 10. I dug a composition notebook out of my office supplies, decorated the front with our initials, and wrote the first entry to her on page 1. It went like this:
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
I hope school went well today! I’ll bet you are looking forward to an outside day soon! I keep imagining how exciting it will be when Spring returns and the red tulips I planted in the flowerbeds last fall come up for the first time.
This notebook is kind of like our own mailbox! Whenever we want to ‘mail’ something to each other, we write it in this book & leave it on the other person’s bed for them to find. We can tell jokes, ask questions, share stories, worries, happies, and even thing we’ve learned from the scriptures. Pictures are fun, too!
You’ve Got Mail!
I left it on her bed pillow before picking her up for school that day. Later that day, our notebook appeared on my pillow! In her first entry, she told me about something neat she had read in a book about 9/11 and then asked me the question:
“If you could get anything at the dollar store, what would it be?”
I will not shy away from the fact that it has been a revelation to me! On hard days we have used this Two Way Journal to apologize, express some worries and misunderstandings, and share things that may not come up in conversation.
I’ve realized more of what occupies her mind and what things don’t really bother her.
I’ve come to love and admire her even more and hope my entries to her have helped her feel that! It’s also provided another opportunity for me to teach important truths.
I’ve started Two Way Journals with other children now. One of them writes very little in his entries, but he always take time to draw stick figures of the two of us doing something fun together! I do the same for him. Random, I know, but we bond over those things!
Melt my heart!
You love your kids. You know your kids. And you’ll love knowing them even better.
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