Connecting with your daughter: Mother/Daughter Journals

by Donna

I’m a mom of two little girls, 6 and 8. I was very close to my mom, and I hope to share a similar relationship with my girls. I read about Mother/Daughter journals somewhere online a while back, and the concept really appealed to me. As an historian by training, the thought of having a record of communication between my girls and I was instantly attractive. Also, as someone whose own mom passed away too soon, I would love to have such a keepsake.  So, one day at Chapters last summer I picked up a few pretty paper journals and tucked them away. I decided to pull one out this fall and wrote my daughter a short letter, and tucked it under her pillow.  I explained to my daughter that she could write back when she wanted, and could leave it in under my pillow for me to find.

My daughter seemed rather tickled about the process.  She asked me lots of questions: “Can I write about anything I want?” (Yes!); “Can I write whenever I want?” (Take your time!); “Do I have to tell you my secrets? (Only if you want to!); “Should I tell my sister?” (Let’s keep this between the two of us. She’ll get a journal when she’s older).

And then I waited.

And waited.

Weeks, a month rolled by. But one night, my husband and I went out for an evening. When I came up to bed, I noticed the journal peeking out. I was thrilled.  (I may have cried!) It worked. The journal has gone back and forth several times now, and my youngest asked last month if she could have one of her own (her older sister broke one day and spilled the beans). Entries from my youngest have been pretty basic as her literacy skills are still pretty rudimentary – but what great incentive to read and write! While the entries by my oldest have been mostly focused on discussions of Harry Potter, it is my hope that:

  • The journal will provide a space to talk about potentially difficult topics.
  • The journal will  let me into their quirky little minds (this is already happening – their observations of things make me smile)
  • Writing in a journal will give them an opportunity to ask me questions about myself (how I wish I had the opportunity to do so with my own mom)
  • ·We’ll have fun and strengthen our bond.

I wrote about the mother daughter journal concept in a facebook comment and it sparked a fair bit of interest. I’m eager to keep at it and see where it takes my girls and I. Maybe you’ll give it a try!

Let us know in the comments if you'd try anything like this or if you will!