How to Start a Shared Journal for Teenagers and Moms
Are You Struggling to get your Teenager to Open Up To You?
- Do you wish your teen wouldn't shut down and shut you out when you ask what's bothering them?
- Are you looking for ways to get your kid to share about their day?
- Do you wish you could give them advice without them stomping off and rolling their eyes?
Discover how a shared journal can help. Because in some ways, being a mom of a teen is like being a mom to a newborn baby. You really wish they could just tell you what they need!
Why you Should Start a Teens and Mom Journal Together
Journaling with your teen provides you both the space to reflect on issues instead of just reacting to them.
Sharing a journal with your teen son or daughter can lead to a improved communication. Even better, it will come without any slammed doors or eye rolls!
You’ll be able to get a glimpse into what’s going on in your teen’s life.
Your kid might even gain an appreciation for your point of view.
3 Benefits of Starting a Shared Journal Practice with your Teenager
1. Sharing a journal with your teen is the perfect opportunity to find out how to best reach out and recognize when they are sad, mad, or overwhelmed.
- By asking the right questions, you can better learn to communicate with your teenager on their terms.
- A few good journal prompts for your mom and me journal are:
- When we disagree, what do you wish I would do for you? Give you 20 minutes to collect yourself before we finish talking? Have me not speak until you tell me you are finished explaining your side, so it doesn’t feel like I am interrupting you? Or something else?
- What do you like to do when you are sad? Do you prefer to be left alone? Be around other people but not talk? Watch movies? Go for a run?
2. A Sneaky Way to get your Teenager to "Listen" to your Advice
Want to know the best time to give your teen advice? When they feel it isn’t directed at them!
- My favorite journal prompt to include in a shared mom and me journal is: What is the best advice you have ever received?
- This gives you the perfect opportunity to tell them the most important life lesson you wish they knew.
- The beauty is they don’t have to know that it is directed at them, which should increase your odds of them actually reflecting on what you have to say.
- Bonus-you too will learn something valuable from the best advice they ever received.
"She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." (Proverbs 31:26,ESV)
3. JOURNALING WITH YOUR TEEN SHOWS THEM YOU ARE MORE THAN JUST A MOM
I sometimes think my daughter thinks I was born a mom. And not just any mom but one that is boring, predictable, and worries too much. If this sounds familiar to you, try starting a shared journal with your teen.
Your teen will see a different side of you. One that isn’t their mom but an actual person that has experiences and similarities to themselves.
- Some good journal topic questions for you and your kid:
- Question for Mom: What was your favorite holiday tradition when you were growing up? Has it changed now that you have a family of your own?
- Question for Both of you: What was the best thing that has ever happened to you? Was it luck? Was it something you worked hard for?
3 Powerful Journal Questions to Ask your Teenager
1. When you are frustrated or disagree, what is something I could do for you that will help us better listen to one another?
- Maybe your kid needs time by themselves before they are open to hearing what you have to say. Perhaps you both agree to ten minutes by yourself when a disagreement starts.
- Or Maybe they get frustrated when they are telling their side, and you interrupt them (this was my daughter's biggest complaint).
- It's just as valuable to discuss what frustrates you when you are in disagreement. Perhaps you'll both gain a new perspective and a different approach to solve everyday frustrations.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2,ESV)
2. What is your favorite quality of your mom?
- You might be surprised to find out what quality your kid appreciates about you.
- Once you know the answer to this, you can find ways to incorporate it into everyday interactions with them.
3. When you are sad or upset, what gives you comfort?
- Maybe your kid prefers to be alone and watch TV when they are upset.
- Perhaps they would like someone to listen to them without trying to solve their problem.
- Having an answer to this question can give you ideas for how to approach them when you can tell something is bothering them.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Corinthians (13:7,ESV)
How to Start a Mom and Me Journal with your Teenager
- If you are interested in starting a shared journal with your teen, grab a blank notebook and download the free PDF at the top or bottom of this page.
- Print your mom and me journal prompts and keep them tucked in your shared journal.
- There is no need to take the questions in order. If you answer a question and pass the journal to your son or daughter, they don’t have to answer the same question. Of course, they can answer the same one if they want and vise versa.
- And of course, make it your own! If there’s a question, you want to ask, just jot it down and send it to them.
I hope journaling with your teen helps you both gain a greater appreciation for one another.
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