Over the summer, I started a journal with each of my boys. A place where we can stay connected and share our stories, thoughts, hopes, dreams, fears, and whatever else we want to talk about. It’s a way for me to learn more about my boys and for them to learn more about me.
Here’s how it works. Before bedtime, my boys will sit in their rooms and take a few minutes to write something to me. It could be what they did that day, a story they want to share, or even a question or issue they want to ask my opinion on.
It’s really neat to see what they write about. They share a lot about their day that I’m not apart of. Like the time my first grader’s class put on a celebration for the Dad of one of their classmates who just returned from overseas. He never shared this with me until he wrote it in his journal. This inspired a great conversation between the two of us.
When my boys are finished writing, they put their journals on their desks and finish up their bedtime routine. Once they are asleep, I’ll grab their books and write a response to them. This is my time to reflect on the day and share my feelings. Even those little moments, I like to express to them that they do not go unnoticed and how much I appreciate them. If I know they are struggling with something, I like to share words of encouragement and bits of wisdom to help guide them.
In the morning, they are so excited to see what I wrote them. It’s the first thing they do, which shows me that this is really special to them.
We don’t do this every night because of homework and our activity schedule, but we try to write in the journals at least twice a week.
My goal with having this book is to show them that writing is a powerful way to communicate and it has helped them with their writing skills. I want them to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts with me. It’s a great way to help them express their emotions, confide in one another, and for us to grow together. It’s amazing what you can learn about your children through this experience.
My hope is that this will be a book of memories that we can treasure for a lifetime!