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Mommy and Me Journal: Writing

Parent and Child Journal

September 2, 2015 Sarah Coggins

As many creative moments do, I saw an idea on Pinterest about starting a “mother & son” journal. The general idea was to use it over the summer as a way to practice reading & writing plus build up communication. We don’t have a traditional summer due to our year round school schedule, but with his reading & writing taking off as he finished kindergarten at the end of June, it seemed like a good idea to start our own parent and child journal.

We started in mid-July – the day after his 6th birthday and 2 weeks into first grade. I literally grabbed an extra composition book I had in our school supplies stash and told him what it was for. Dylan took two sharpies and carefully wrote out the title alternating colors.

Parent and Child Journal: a simple way to improve reading & writing skills while building communication.

We clipped on a simple ink pen and set it on his nightstand. We write to each other most nights, but not all. Sometimes we even doodle in the margins.

I’ve used it as a jumping block for a number of topics from simple praise (“thanks for being so kind and helpful with your sister”) to reminders of how to behave (“remember to make the ‘right’ choices”), but it also helped us with his health in the late July. He had off and on complained about his left ear bothering him. I thought it was *just* swimmer’s ear since his complaints were after swimming and not accompanied with fever and/or issues laying down.

Mommy and Me Journal: Writing

We treated it as such and thought all was well. I commented¬†in the journal one night about how I was glad his ear pain was gone. He wrote back that it wasn’t and he was hurting all day. Talk about a heartbreaking parenting moment. Here I had pushed it all aside and went on about my day thinking he’s just fine only to learn he had been in pain. I was thankful I thought to write about it. Thankful he answered me. The next morning we visited the pediatrician and he was diagnosed with a DOUBLE ear infection!

He’s completely healed now and we’ve moved on to less serious topics, but I am very grateful I stumbled across this idea and decided to give it a try. I can see improvements in his handwriting as well as his spelling and grammar skills. And, maybe most importantly, we’ve opened a new line of communication which is always a huge plus in parenting.

Do you have a special tradition with your kid(s)? 


  • Colleen H September 4, 2015 at 12:44 pm
    LOVE this idea and think I might try this too!! Thanks!
    • Sarah Coggins September 7, 2015 at 8:47 pm
      Thanks, Colleen! It hasn't been quite 2 months, but it really has been great. He gets excited for bedtime and seeing what new message I have left for him.
  • Allison Barrett Carter September 9, 2015 at 5:01 pm
    Ooh, so you each write something right before bed, or any time during the day? I love this idea!
    • Sarah Coggins September 9, 2015 at 10:06 pm
      Typically before bed, but I reminded him we can use it any time. I set it on his bed after I write a note so he knows there is something new from me.
  • Stephanie Clark September 11, 2015 at 3:21 pm
    This is such an awesome idea. I have actually used it with older children as a therapy technique but I love that it also address hand writing and spelling. Hadn't really thought that.
    • Sarah Coggins September 14, 2015 at 10:19 am
      I can see how this would be a great therapy technique! Part of why I like using it as a parent. I can understand myself how sometimes it's easier to write out what we are thinking or feeling than try to vocalize. I'm hoping this simple habit will help our communication as he gets older and life gets more challenging.
  • Alyson M September 14, 2015 at 11:43 am
    I love this idea! Might have to try it with both of my kids, for very different reasons.
  • Julie S. September 14, 2015 at 4:45 pm
    This is a great idea! I think when Brayden starts to get more into writing I will be all over this!
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    Hi! I'm a DIY and craft obsessed mom to 2. I have my hands covered in sawdust or paint any given day. My husband and kids join me in many of our projects. When we aren't creating at home, we're creating memories in our many adventures. Join along! Read More


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