Journaling for your kids

Have you ever had a moment, as a parent, when you thought, “I hope I remember this forever”? Or how about this, “I hope I can remember this when my child gets older”?

Have you ever wondered what your childhood was like… not the BIG stuff, but the normal, every day stuff of life?

Well I have, and I guess that my kids probably will too… so since this summer I have been keeping a journal for each of them (and one for Sherri too).

If you are a parent I’d encourage you to do this for your kids too! Here are two reasons why:

  • It makes you think about each child and you’ll be surprised at what you identify about them as you write about and to them.
  • It makes you aware of how you are interacting with your kids!

Some ideas for keeping your kid’s journal (I have shared actual journal entries with you to illustrate):

  • You don’t have to journal every day. Just keep it regular.
  • Sometimes I take pictures with my phone… e-mail them to myself… print them… cut them out… and glue them in the journal. I know it sounds old school but my handwriting with those pictures will be a treasure to them someday.
  • Of course you’ll want to talk about the BIG events (e.g. vacations, graduations, etc.) but also make note of the normal stuff (e.g. “you spent the night with Madelyn last night. I missed you!” or “Today you did all your chores before lunch! Great work!”)
  • Tell them about historical events (e.g. “Today mom and I took you with us when we voted for the President of the United States. Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney”).
  • Tell them about key people in their lives (e.g. “Tonight we went over to Granny Barb’s house for supper! She made your favorite soup!”)
  • Tell them about the life phase they are going through (e.g. “You’ve been mean lately. We’re working on it. We still love you a ton!”)
  • Tell them about discoveries they made (e.g. “Tonight you discovered that the tooth fairy is me!”)
  • Tell them what you think about them (e.g. “You are an ‘out of the box’ thinker […] You aren’t afraid to be different, to speak your mind, to create waves. This trait will take you to the top or push you to the bottom. My prayer and plan as a dad is to help you figure out how to use this gift to navigate your way to the top!”)
  • Tell them things other people are saying about them (e.g. your friend’s mom sent us a text about you, “You should be very proud. You’ve got a well mannered little girl.” Way to go!)
  • Tell them what you’re teaching them (e.g. how to handle money)

I’m not sure yet when I’m going to give them their journals. I’ve thought about giving it to them each Christmas… or as a package when they head off to college. I’m not sure yet but I’ll figure it out soon enough. In the meantime I keep journaling their/our history!

OK, there’s more but I’ll wrap it up for today by sharing a picture of what Riley’s journal looks like…


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