Creating a memory journal for a child is a gift that you and they will treasure in the coming years. Journaling for a baby, son or daughter can even help you see patterns in their lives to make parenting easier!
I am a big journaler. I have this blog, I have a personal journal and I have one for each of my 3 kids, and once a month I write in it. It has been crazy beneficial.
Why create a memory journal for your child?
1. It gives you history. I wrote down how often the kids were eating/sleeping for that first year. It was SO helpful with each subsequent child. I often wonder “when did they give up that 2nd nap” and I could just go back to the journals. There isn’t a whole lot to write about when your babies are little — and while it seems mundane, this can be really helpful.
2. It gives you a place to vent. I am not sure if/when the kids will get to look at their own journals. They are critical of them. They say how HARD it is to be their mom. It talks about their personal flaws in a VERY REAL way. I don’t sugar-coat or hold back when I write in them.
3. It gives you a place to praise. I don’t want my kids thinking they are the smartest human to ever touch the earth — but in their journals I can marvel about how truly amazing they are, and muse about how I might have had a hand in it. Sometimes it reminds me of things that really are WONDERFUL about them. There’s an awful lot.
Bytheway — if keeping routines and things like this is something you’re working on. I want to share this course that changed how our house ran — and I had so much more of “me” to give during those crazy days! There is a whole chapter on how to journal for your kids — so if this is something you REALLY want to start doing, jump inside (join for a month or a year, it’s up to you — no obligation to stay!). Save 10% for a limited time with code PC10.
4. It gives you a place to prioritize. When I’m journaling for kids I can somehow pinpoint what I really want to help them change. One is too sneaky, one needs to learn how to stay on task, and one needs to learn to take responsibility for their self. It’s about 20 minutes of JUST thinking about them. I don’t know about you, but I don’t often get that without the whirlwind of parenthood around me.
5. You are DOING this. Just when you think you’re the largest failure that parenthood has ever seen, you can look back and realize you are making a difference in these little people that you are spending SO much time on! It’s good to see them evolve and change, and maybe you are making a difference on #4.
I journal in each kid’s one once a month. I beg Drew to write something in the month of their birthday. I know they get their’s someday. I hope they treasure it, or maybe it will help the realize we ALL struggle. Even raising perfect beings like themselves.
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Child’s Memory Journal Prompts
I have come up with some prompts to get you going on your child’s memory journal. I have them split between kids and babies — so pick whichever works for you.
Related Post: Second Baby Checklist
Buy a journal and then tuck that paper in the front –so when you’re at a loss as to what to write — just answer those questions. 🙂
Ok, now is the time to jump into Family Routines to give you time to do cool things like this.
If you’re not quite ready, check out practical parenting — my free parenting series that might help you look at tough situations in new ways.
This post was originally written in 2014, and has been updated.
Every year when my kids birthdays roll around I decided I am going to write them a letter about the year. I NEVER actually do it! And then I just feel guilty! Journaling is such a good idea. I would love to have had something like a journal to look at from my childhood that documented the up and downs my mom went through raising me. I am up to date on my 19 month old and my 4 year olds baby books!! My personal baby book is like 20% completed! 🙂
It’s all what you can do, right? You can always start at any time. 😀
Another reason I am doing this is because my siblings and I lost both of our parents at a very young age and we wonder who our parents were everyday of our adult lives. Our memories are hard to follow/hold on to because we were so young. We HEAR stories, but feel we were cheated out of KNOWING who they were to each of us…. writing to my boys once a month will give them a feeling of who they are and who I am…. I feel I would have treasured something like this…m feeling of who I am and
OH yeah, that is a HUGE reason to do it — something I try not to think about — but if for some reason I die that will be great for my kids. 🙂
I used to journal with my kids every Sunday. They could tell me what was important in their life, from a child’s perspective, and I would add a few things, too, like places we had been, if anyone had lost a tooth, etc. Now, fast-forward almost 20 years. My daughter re-discovered these journals on my computer’s external hard drive. The kids have been reading and re-reading these journals ever since! I just wish that I hadn’t stopped writing. I can’t remember why I did…probably thought that with 4 children, I didn’t have time. I just know that the journals are priceless!
Awh, I love that! I hope my kids love these someday!