In one-week this mother-daughter journal has already changed my relationship with my daughter.
I stumbled upon Just Between Us: A No-Stress, No-Rules Journal for Girls and Their Moms on Amazon last month while doing some shopping. In the intro of the book, the author Meredith Jacobs writes:
So much is happening to girls at this age. And, unfortunately it’s happening so much faster than it used to. Sometimes [my daughter] seems so mature and confident, I forget everything she’s navigating. I’m reminded that she’s still young girl trying to understand her physical and emotional changes when I read an entry in which she asks about something I know she’d be too embarrassed to say — and absolutely mortified to have to listen to my answer. Writing makes it easier to broach some topics — but I have found once we’ve “talked” on paper, continuing the conversation in person is comfortable.
I cannot even begin to tell you how well this mother-daughter journal has worked so far. If you check out the book on Amazon, you’ll learn that:
This journal includes writing prompts to help get the conversation going, plus fun ideas for making lists and drawing pictures. There’s also plenty of free space for writing about day-to-day experiences and whatever’s on your minds — and two ribbons for marketing your places.
I bought two of these mother-daughter journals, one for each of my tween girls. I loved the idea of having mother-journal prompts to help get us started. I thought I was being proactive in getting this journal. When we got started, I assumed we’d kick it off with filling in some of the playful fill-in-the-blank prompts. I couldn’t have been more taken back by what my girls wrote with their first entries.
At nine and eleven, my girls already have weighty topics on their hearts. One of my daughter’s had been privately holding onto a heavy school situation that just took my breath away. Being able to write the story and get it all out seemed to alleviate a huge amount of stress for her.
Since that experience, I’ve been sharing this mother-daughter journal with every mom I chat with…
So many things are changing with our girls right now. We need to find ways to keep the lines of communication open as we head into these transition years. Our girls need us more now than ever.
Getting Started with Your Mother-Daughter Journal
I want you to begin your mother-daughter journal experience on the right foot. Here’s how we got started using our journal:
1. Plan a special mother-daughter date with your daughter. My little lady and I headed to Big Water Coffee (in our favorite place — Bayfield) and ordered a hot cocoa, coffee and a treat. The goal of this private date? To sit down and talk about how this whole mother-daughter journal would work. It may seem unnecessary to have this chat, but to ensure success, you need to make sure you’re on the same page.
2. Find a cozy corner and read the intro of the book together … out loud. In the intro of the journal, you’ll find two important sections: A Mother’s Perspective and the A Daughter’s Perspective. Both helped us immediately see each other’s point of view and opened the doors of communication. This was beyond helpful in getting the conversation rolling.
Quick tip: Being a reader or a listener for too long can lead to a wandering mind. We took turns reading every other page to ensure we were both engaged.
Without having read these two intro sections together (and out loud), I truly do not believe we’d have had such a strong start to our journaling relationship. Again, this section seems like a lot considering journaling feels intuitive. The point is to really slow down and show your daughter your commitment to her and your relationship. Don’t skip this getting started stuff!
3. Hammer out the details. The intro to Just Between Us: A No-Stress, No-Rules Journal for Girls and Their Moms also provides a tips section on logistics that you’ll need to agree upon when starting your mother-daughter journal:
- Who is allowed to see this book?
- How will you pass the journal back and forth?
- When can you expect a response?
- How are you going to address each other?
- What are you going to use to write with?
4. Perhaps the most important aspect of the book to discuss with your daughter is the suggested guidelines below. If you want your mother-daughter journal to be successful, you’ll need to both follow these (sometimes challenging) guidelines and build a sense of trust.
5. Make it playful. This doesn’t have to be just about teen angst. There are many relationship building activities and fun prompts too. After our mother-daughter coffee date, we went to the store and bought a few special colored pens for journaling. Simply having special pens, made the experience more meaningful to the girls. Sometimes in life, it is the little details that matter the most.
The experience since our original date to start the journal has been eye-opening, wonderful, and at times overwhelming. The first night, one of my daughters wrote an eight-page entry. She had so much weighing on her. I really didn’t realize how many grown-up thoughts were going on in my little ladies’ minds. I am so thankful to have a tool to comfortably discuss these topics with my girls and occasionally take some of our chats off the page and into our day-to-day conversations.
In the intro of the book, Jacobs writes:
I think journaling is especially important as we both become busier. The time we have to sit and talk becomes less and less each year. And yet, as she moves further into the her teenage years, I need her to know that she will always have a way of communicating with me.
I couldn’t agree more. I am so thankful for stumbling upon Just Between Us: A No-Stress, No-Rules Journal for Girls and Their Moms. I just had to share with you.
As we continue forward, we might eventually move on to using a more traditional blank journal for writing. That being said, having Just Between Us as a guide to help us through this getting started process has been priceless. If you have any questions about the book or our experience with the mother-daughter journal so far, please don’t hesitate to ask questions in the comments.
P.S. Quite a few people on Facebook asked about a mother-son journal. A few parents have recommended this particular one: Between Mom and Me. Pop over to Amazon (4.5 out of 5 stars) and read a few of the reviews moms have left about the journal.
The book description reads:
This engaging prompt journal is the perfect tool to strengthen your mother son relationship. Record memories together, swap stories, compare perspectives, and explore common and unique interests. Letters back and forth and interactive lists invite you both to reflect, write, and doodle about topics timely to your life as he builds self-confidence and improves his penmanship. Let master storycatcher Katie Clemons help your son unearth the power of his story and best of all . . . discover a great bond with his mom.
I also thought I’d share a couple parenting books on my library list too. I’d love to know if you’ve read any of them already or if you have more suggestions for me. Let’s chat in the comments.
- Mothering and Daughtering: Keeping Your Bond Strong Through the Teen Years — 4.9 out of 5 Stars on Amazon | Read Book Description
- Your Daughter’s Bedroom: Insights for Raising Confident Women — 4.9 out of 5 Stars on Amazon | Read Full Book Description
- Surviving Ophelia: Mothers Share Their Wisdom in Navigating the Tumultuous Teenage Years — 4.3 out of 5 Stars on Amazon | Read Full Book Description
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”