Sometimes she doesn’t want to talk.
Sometimes words get stuck and feelings flutter and confuse.
And sometimes mamas and daughters mix in a way generally reserved for oil and water.
In those tender places ripe for injury and regret, we’ve learned to back away and let our ink pens tell the story. We’ve learned that retreat sometimes means salvation.
Using Notebooks to Share Feelings and Ask Tough Questions
A few years ago in Words Kids Need To Hear, by David Staal (see affiliate link below) I first read about the notion of notebooks as journals with kids. The concept is simple:
- Invite your child to journal their feelings when talking them out feels too hard.
- Tell them nothing’s off limits! That tough questions or embarrassing questions are welcomed and met with love.
- Instruct them to do their writing and then leave it on mom’s bed or under mom’s pillow for a discreet response.
- Do your best to respond to your child within 24-28 hours.
- Hold up your end of the bargain — when tough issues are raised, respond in grace! No shaming or guilting!
- Return the journal to her room, leaving it under her pillow to find at night. (This also prevents drop-in friends from finding something so private and personal.)
- Buy a journal
- Give it to your child
- EITHER have a conversation about its purpose, OR…
- Use the first page of the journal to write out an explanation.
- Then, ask if they’d rather have you begin the journal dialogue or if they’d prefer to do so.
- Let the dialogue begin!
How do you deal with things when conversation is tricky?
Special thanks to Photography by Kamarah for the beautiful pic of my daughter.