My daughter is quickly approaching the age where her questions and thoughts are starting to get more complicated and our conversations deeper. Between adolescence, the state of the world, and everything in between, I think we’re both feeling a little nervous about talking about it all. And if I’m being completely honest, this stuff feels way scarier to me than any other stage in parenting (although I’m sure I’ve said that same thing a time or two, but, mom brain).
So when one of her best friend’s moms told me about a journal she and her daughter were sharing where they would write letters back and forth to each other, I immediately loved the idea, for a few reasons:
- Words are my love language, but I am so much better at writing them than saying them.
- There are things my daughter will want to discuss (or not) and questions she may feel uneasy asking. Writing them down takes away the nervousness of having to ask them out loud.
- By writing these things down, she can give me a heads up on what she’s thinking about, rather than me putting her on the spot (or vice versa) and either of us stumbling over our words or not articulating what we want or need to say. And I know that I tend to get conversation amnesia when it comes to the big stuff, so having it written down will be a great reference point for both of us and also allow for some thought before answering.
- Hopefully, the written conversations will open the door for some great face-to-face conversations. And even if they don’t always do that, it’s better than not talking about them at all!
- Aside from the big questions and conversations, it’s just another great way for me to remind my daughter that she is loved and has a safe space.
- I’ll take any excuse to buy a pretty new notebook! (Hey, it’s the little things these days, right?!)
In all seriousness, tough conversations are tough for a reason. Whether it’s my daughter or me that is nervous about having them, they are still necessary and I’d rather be the provider of the information than the internet or her friends (even though I know this is sometimes unavoidable!) We’ve only just started writing back and forth to each other, but I can tell my daughter is already enjoying it as she just asked me if I’ve written her back yet.
So, if you’re a parent that is feeling apprehensive about the tween/teen years and all the big stuff that’s to come, maybe consider getting a journal that’s just for you and your kiddo, I mean big kid, to share. I leave ours on my bedside table so we both know where it is and then after I’m done writing her a note, I’ll leave it on her desk in her bedroom. Once she’s finished with a note, she’ll return it to my bedside table. It’s not rocket science, but if it will make having hard conversations even just a bit easier, I’ll count that as a win!
Good luck mama, we’ve got this! (But remind me of those words in a few years, please and thank you!)