One of the ways to build and maintain a close relationship with your children is to create a Mommy & Me Journal. I’m a mom to four children ages 24, 11, 10 and 8 and my first journal was with my oldest daughter. I found it to be fun and interesting; hopefully she did as well.
Let the journaling begin
Starting a Mommy & Me Journal can be as easy or as time consuming as you want it to be. Here are the steps:
How to start a mommy and me journal
- Choose your notebook. You can get really fancy and purchase a journal that is already decorated or you can get a $1 composition book (they even have decorated ones for a $1) and transform it into a beautiful journal.
- Choose your writing instrument(s). One of the decorative add-ons for a journal is to punch a sturdy hole in the top left-hand corner of the book and use ribbon or string to attach a marker, ink pen or pencil. Make sure your string, or whatever you use, is long enough to write comfortably with it still attached. Another very cute option is to use a half-inch wide ribbon on the front of the journal and create loops to slide markers, gel pens, ink pens or pencils into. Multiple writing instruments are great to use for drawing pictures to each other or writing little notes, quotes and drawings around the edges of the paper.
- Add stickers. I like to personalize the front of the journal with the child’s name and “Mommy & Me Journal” using stickers. To use stickers throughout the journal, obtain some of your favorites and those you think your child will like and put them in an envelope a little smaller than the journal’s size. Slide the stickers in for ease of access.
- Write a message. For the two I have started so far I’ve written little messages on the inside cover about how much I love them, how proud they make me or whatever comes to your mind and heart. With the last journal I made to share with my 10-year-old daughter I also wrote a brief list of instructions.
- Get started. The first entry should be from you. In order to keep the journal interactive, ask your child questions, start a two-person game like dots, do a fill in the blank story or paste in a word fine or crossword puzzle to work on together.
The purpose of the journal is to keep the lines of communication open with your child and, amongst the fun, it’s a safe place for your child to pose questions to you that they may be nervous or embarrassed to ask face to face. When you present the journal to the child be sure to sound upbeat and excited. Not all children will take to it right away, but don’t let that stop you. Just continue to encourage them about how interested you are in hearing what they have to say. My 10 year old loves the idea, but hasn’t participated yet and my oldest daughter didn’t start writing back on a regular basis until she was about 12 or 13.
IMPORTANT: Don’t exclude your boys
As I’m writing this, it dawned on me that I can have the same connection with my son. I’m going to do a boy-themed journal and see what fun we can come up with.
Have you started a Mommy & Me Journal with your children? If not, will you start one now?