As a busy mom, I sometimes feel I don’t have enough time to really talk to my kids. And sometimes, when I try to talk to them, I am met with girls who don’t actually want to talk to me.
While the conversation starters I have tried recently work really well (my youngest daughter in particular LOVES those), I remembered something I used to do a few years ago that was really fun.
I became pen-pals with my daughter.
When my middle daughter was 8 years old, I thought I’d try a new idea.
I got a couple notebooks and wrote notes to my girls in them. The oldest was 10 or 11 and the youngest would have been 5 and not reading well yet. So I just did this with the older girls at that time.
I wrote notes to both of them, but only my middle daughter answered me back. And that’s okay—you know your kids, and this might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
I knew my oldest was unlikely to respond as she’s not really my writer child. But she is my chatterbox. It’s relatively easy for me to know what’s up with her because she talks and talks and talks incessantly.
Even now that she’s 15 I am usually treated to her stream of consciousness most of the time. And I love it.
But back to the pen-pal journals.
My middle daughter wrote me back. And we wrote back and forth for a few years. We weren’t always terribly consistent, and sometimes she would have the journal for a really long time before it would show up on my bed again.
But every time it showed up, I was treated to the amazing soul of my daughter.
I may not have learned anything super new about her (except that she loves loved One Direction more than her sisters!), but it made our relationship stronger.
It was fun for her to have a little secret way to communicate with me that her sisters weren’t part of. And it was a wonderful way for me to build her up and tell her the great things I noticed her doing, to give her encouragement, and to look for the positive—even when our relationship was harder.
Tonight I made one of these for my youngest. She’s been struggling a little bit with her adjustment to fourth grade and I think she would love this. In fact, I know she would.
She LOVES writing, and whenever I clean her room I find hundreds of adorable things she’s written: song lyrics, poems, journals about her crush, hate notes to me, love notes to me, and even comic strips.
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I’ve also written something in my middle’s journal that we haven’t really used for a year or so. I’m even going to write a letter to my eldest before I go to bed tonight.
Even though she isn’t likely to write back, I know that she will still appreciate a letter from her mom.
This is such a simple thing to do with your kids and the rewards are huge.
Tell them you love them in writing.
I have a hunch they’ll keep it forever!
To make your own pen-pal journal, you’ll need a cheap composition book (I love composition books! See my gratitude journals and summer reading journals), some cardstock, and some glue or snail adhesive.
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This post is part of my 31 Days to a Happier Home series.
To see all the posts in this series, click here: 31 Days to a Happier Home
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