While many of us are finding ourselves at home with our family members during this season of the Coronavirus pandemic, it can be challenging to figure out positive ways to spend our time while helping our kids grow in the process.
Two important areas we can devote our efforts to right now are strengthening family communication and our kids’ life skills.
Over our summer breaks, I used to do dialogue journals with my elementary school-aged kids to help them:
- Improve their penmanship.
- Get more comfortable expressing their thoughts, feelings, and ideas through the written word.
- Think about the thoughts and feelings of another in this interactive form of communication.
- Create a keepsake from their childhood to be cherished later.
What you need to start a Dialogue Journal
All you need to start your dialogue journal is a simple notebook and a writing instrument. Nothing fancy is required. I even like to recycle the kids’ old school notebooks that still have plenty of unused pages left in them. (Rip out the used pages!)
As the parent, you begin the journal by writing Dear Son or Daughter and the date. Then, tell your child something about your day and ask them a question. Leave the notebook on their bed or somewhere they will naturally find it. Then, your child is to write you back in the same format, asking you a question as well. And the journal gets casually passed back and forth creating improved penmanship, communication, and a keepsake to look back on.
TIP: You can liven up the notebook covers even with sayings or photos of the two of you on the front. I used to do a dialogue journal with the foster teen I mentored, and it was an excellent way for us to “talk” about the hard stuff that’s sometimes difficult to express in person.
TIP: You could even do a Dialogue Journal with a friend or loved one who lives locally too. Ride your bike or drive over and drop the notebook at their door, and they can do the same when they are done.
Ask questions to get your child talking about their feelings and thoughts about their experience in quarantine and what they are missing this summer.
Use this time to strengthen your family communication by starting dialogue journals with your children. Not only will your son or daughter learn pertinent skills for today, but you will intentionally create a keepsake to be cherished tomorrow as well.
Have you done a dialogue journal with your child before?