Journaling for Your Children

It got me every time I saw another one on Facebook.

A picture of a fresh-faced college freshman by their neatly made dorm room bed. There was often a picture of a mom smiling with her arms around that freshman, but you could tell her smile was just what you do to be strong for your child.

Her heart was actually breaking.

The thought of being the mom with the broken-hearted smile leaves me breathless as I imagine leaving my own babies in a dorm full of strangers. Driving away and not coming back anytime soon, I’ll be wondering if I taught them enough. Held them enough. Laughed with them enough.

Loved them enough.

That’s one of the reasons I keep a journal for each of my kids and suggest you try it out, too. When they leave home, your kids can take your love, wisdom, and pride with them. You can decide if you will read it to them as they grow, or wait until a special birthday or graduation date to gift them the journal. Some parents also open an e-mail address as a journal for children and e-mail their child’s accounts as they grow. When the child is old enough to have access to the account, they have access to all the loving and encouraging words from their parents. 

Journal for children

What to journal for your child:

Tell your kids how proud you are and how much you love them. Just share your heart with them in the journal. Your adult child will likely be able to see you as a human who made a lot of mistakes, but always loved them and tried to do what was best for them.

When to journal for your child:

I find the best time to journal for my kids is right before I go to bed. The house is quiet and I feel reflective. Maybe you feel like this early in the morning. You do you! Just pick a peaceful time that you won’t feel rushed and go for it. When you have multiple kids, it can feel daunting, but I’m always glad I journaled after I do it. I aim for at least 3-5 entries per kid per year, so nothing crazy. Of course, you can do more or less! You can start when you are expecting or when they go to kindergarten or even when they are a teen! It is never too late to start putting your love for your child into words.

Journal writing ideas:

Right before their birthday, tell them all about themselves at that age. What are they obsessed with? What new things did they learn or try that year? What do you LOVE about them at that age?

After their birthday, write about how you celebrated. You’ll both forget the details that you can remember the night of the celebration.

First or last days of school. How did they feel? What did they say about their day?

Special events or ceremonies like kindergarten graduation or baptism.

Their first time trying something new.

After a really hard day

After a really great day

After they learned something new they had to work hard at.

When they feel like they failed

When you feel like you failed

When you think of some advice you really want them to know as an adult.

After a vacation to record your memories of them on it.

Anytime you feel like it!

Journaling for our kids allows us to leave a part of us with them when they leave home. Anytime they get lonely or need comfort, we’ll be even closer than a phone call. They’ll find us there in the pages of their journal, loving them like we always have.

“I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind
That I put down in the words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world.”
-Elton John


See some of our go-to journaling items here, and start journaling today!

journals and utensils


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Amy is a North Dakota girl who fell in love with Iowa when she moved to Cedar Rapids as a newlywed in 2006. She's an elementary teacher turned homeschooling mom of twin girls (2011) and a little sister (2014). Her ongoing struggle, is keeping faith at the heart of family life, while still encouraging each of her girls to follow their passions and find their unique gifts. Amy is a lover of words, winter sports, theater, and chocolate. She hopes you find love and encouragement through the posts on CRMoms because mom-ing is always better together.

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