Miss 8 can bottle things up. I always know when she’s worried about something as she gets stroppy, short tempered and she’s very hard to live with. It breaks my heart as I just want her to talk to me. Yet often I’m sure she doesn’t always realise something is wrong herself.
Last summer she was having troubles with some of her friends. This always happens at the end of term, Miss 8 and her best friend are getting tired and need a break from each other. I couldn’t get her to talk, however hard I tried, or hubby tried. It makes me feel a failure as a Mummy when she won’t open up. I just want to help and make everything better.
So I bought a notebook. She loves to write so I thought maybe writing down her feelings may help. I’ve always found this a wonderful way of expressing myself and often write down things I don’t actually realise I’m feeling.
Miss 8 and I sat down together, I showed her the notebook and she was very excited. I explained to her what we would use it for and would she like to decorate the front. Which she did with great care and a lot of love. We sat together whilst she did this and we chatted, a very special moment.
On the first page I then wrote, with Miss 8’s help, what our diary would be for. We decided that if she needed to talk about anything, happy, sad, funny, scary, absolutely anything that’s what her diary would be for. We also decided when she felt she wanted to share something she would then leave the diary on my bed side table. I agreed I would write back.
So our Mummy and Me Diary isn’t used all the time but it definitely is used when it needs to be. Miss 8 will write down her feelings and leave the diary on my bedside table. I’ll read, write back and this opens up the way for her to talk to me.
I am so pleased we started this. It is really a great way of getting my baby girl to open up. Sometimes she will write off her own back and other times I may ask her if she wants to write in her diary if I feel something is on her mind.
I’m hoping that our diary will be used for many years. What techniques have you used to encourage your children to talk?