So I am always working on ways to improve communication between me and my kids - especially my 10 year old daughter. As she moves into those "tween" years, I know she will start to pull away, and I am hoping to keep as much communication open over these years. About a year ago, I saw the idea to start a journal with your kids. I thought about it, and even mentioned it to my oldest, but she kind of shrugged, and I didn't follow through.
Then a few weeks ago, I saw this post, and decided to go for it. So I took two composition books and just using Word, made some cute covers that went with my daughter's styles. So, of course, B's is pink and purple and is called "mommy and me". K, being a more sophisticated 10-year old, got blue, orange and green polka dots and the title "between you and me". I started off by writing them each a note explaining that the purpose of the book is to talk about anything we want. I explained that our lives are very busy and sometimes we don't get to talk about everything we want, so they could put anything in their books. When I want to say something, I stick it under their pillow, and they do the same.
Well, it has worked like a CHARM with my 10 year old. B loves it too, but is mostly writing things like how much she loves me or can she have x, y, or z. K is using it just as I hoped. She is raising questions about things she hears or thinks over the day. She is asking about lots of different things. It is great!
I never talk about anything in the book, unless they bring it up first. But I do respond to every question, inquiry, etc, and try and add in things I want to tell them, like praise for good behaviors, etc. It has only been a few weeks, so we will see how long it keeps going. So far it was a cheap and easy project, and I highly recommend giving it a try!