Just Between Us (written by You and Your Tween)
During this time of our kids' lives, it's more important than ever to keep the lines of communication open. We have to let them know that they can tell us anything. (No, really.) We will have a poker face when they confess things. We won't judge them (only later, to our friends and spouses). And we will shut our yaps until we can consider our words carefully. Which is one of the reasons I love this book.
I stumbled on it a few months ago and bought it on a whim for my tween. She's all about writing these days - stories, notes to friends, songs, you name it. So when I saw the book "Just Between Us, a No-Stress, No-Rules Journal for Girls and Their Moms" I knew I had to get it.
My daughter loved the gift. She loves that I gave her something that would be just ours (and all the better that her sister doesn't have one). Each time you turn the page there's one side for Mother, one side for Daughter. There are journal entries and pages of "free space" where you leave notes to each other. You can tell about a boring day, a hurtful moment, a secret easier shared on the page. It's also a place of truth where apologies and forgiveness can be given. Truly, whatever the day calls for.
My daughter used it after tough days at school when she didn't have the energy to talk but writing down the events helped her process the drama in her classroom. And seeing my response the next day lifted her spirits. She has used it when we fought. When she just wants to tell me she loves me. When her sister is driving her nuts. It's a safe space for her and for us. And it's privacy that she craves like never before.
There's also fun stuff. Questions they answer about you, questions you answer about them. Lists of favorite things. Drawing spaces (her's will no doubt be better than mine). Endless communication tools that will hopefully help us to sustain our relationship as life shifts these next few years. And unlike my mother who used to read my sister's diary (no secret, obviously!) and broke the trust between them, hopefully this will do entirely the opposite for my girl and me.