Growing up, I remember learning that it was super important to keep a record of your life. Writing in a journal was something we talked about often in our church’s Young Women program (12 to 17-year-olds) and I wrote in mine frequently. After I was married, I even shared some of the funnier journal entries, dating back to my early elementary days, with my husband and we had a good laugh.
I have continued writing in a journal over the years, some years more diligently than others. I’ve learned to focus my writing on things that may be beneficial to me or my posterity in the coming years. I try to focus on my spiritual experiences and share my feelings and my testimony. I want my children to know what I felt when I read certain scripture passages. I want them to know that I prayed for things and that I struggled to receive answers, and answers weren’t always given to me the way I expected, but that they did come. I hope to help them strengthen their own testimonies.
I like to write about my mundane everyday life. I want to remember what it was like to have a baby at home. I want to remember what it was like to have a preschooler at home. I want to remind myself what it was like to have teenagers. I even mention the price of gas or a gallon of milk I bought that day.
I’ve tried to get my kids to write in journals, thinking that it will not only help with their handwriting skills, but will also become a record of their lives. For the most part it has been like pulling teeth with my oldest, who is 12. It looks an awful lot like homework and that’s just no fun for him. What are you supposed to write on a big, blank sheet of lined paper? It seems intimidating to be creative when you are young and a boy and want to run around outside instead or play. Two years ago, I came across some journals that were perfect for my boys. Q&A a Day for Kids! The books have only a few lines to write on every day and are made to be used every day for three years. Every year on the same day you answer the same writing prompt. We are just now beginning the second year. It’s a great way to compare the thoughts and handwriting that each child had the year before.
My oldest doesn’t complain about writing and I have noticed that he spends a bit more time reading and comparing the posts from the last year. My youngest was still in kindergarten when we first started writing in his book so I would do most of the writing. After reading the question together, I could see his mind working. He has been so thoughtful and everything he has wanted written was well thought out. There are some great answers and I know that in years to come these books will be a cherished possession. As well as a great comic relief to their spouses and their own children.
There is also a Q&A a Day: 3-Year Journal for 2 People to do together. Inside is a spot each day for two people to write. I was pleasantly surprised that my husband actually took time to write in it. He hardly has a free moment in the day so the minute that it takes to write in this journal was perfect for him.