>> Sunday, February 7, 2010
it's not often that i credit myself with creative ideas. really this isn't something that i've invented, just something that i started to do with kelley and bethany that has turned into a fun way to bond, think and communicate and help with their writing skills. we keep "journals"...just a notebook will do or even a fancier journal book if that appeals to you and your children.
kelley and bethany found their love to write, doodle and draw when they were pretty little. they were filling up their "journals" before they were filling up the potty so to speak. we have tons of journals, notebooks and notepads with the pages filled up. and my gosh we better not get caught throwing one away!
the fun, i think, starts out as mysterious stuff appearing on paper. then progresses to them wanting to copy what grown ups do. before my girls were old enough to really write and then write in cursive they loved to fill the lines with scribbles that looked like cursive writing to them. now they are able to write the "real thing" and it hasn't lost it's appeal.
i started journals with them that we wrote back and forth in. it started when i was sick and away in the hospital or during chemo weeks when the girls stayed with my parents. we used them to "keep in touch" and i really think it was one of the many things that helped them process what was happening with me. those days are thankfully over with and we still write to each other.
in addition to sharing our affirmations of love, compliments and cute doodles and picures i've found that there are helpful uses. journaling often helps them work out problems they may be having at school or with friends. sometimes it's easier for them to write it out instead of talking about it with me. this even works at school if something happens during the day that upsets them. i know that school isn't the place for writing notes but we all did it (didn't we?) and better for them to be writing notes to bring home to their mommy than passing notes in school with friends or *gasp* writing little love notes to boys!
i would even think this is a better alternative to kelley and bethany keeping a personal diary. i do encourage that as well, but diaries are their personal, private thoughts. unless i invade their privacy, i don't know what those thoughts are. our sharing journals give me a peek at issues they are dealing with and open the door for sharing and working through the issues together.
our journal notes back and forth warm our hearts, boost self esteem, help the girls think about and work through kid related turmoil or struggles, and of course it's good practice for all things writing related.
some of you may do this already. if not i really recommend it. a simple notepad works, or a real hard bound journal. for you really creative peeps you could actually design and make your own.