If you have a teenage daughter, at times you wonder what’s on her mind. I’ve been fortunate that most of the time my daughter communicates her feelings by me asking her “what’s wrong?”
I’m always observing her expressions, trying to gauge her energy and emotions, and I can sense when she is upset about something. Checking in with our daughters is beneficial in so many ways. On the other hand, our kids are so spoiled and they sometimes have a hard time dealing with the word “no.” I’ve said things like “I don’t feel good about your going to this place” or “ I don’t know your friend or their parents” and “maybe next time.”
In her Freshman year, I purchased a journal that she and I use to express our feelings about the good times, disappointments, frustrations, and to know what’s on her mind. When I am being being her mom and she doesn’t understand that my role is to protect and to give her guidance. Instead of going back and forth with her to make my point, I started writing in a journal sharing my feelings and concerns as her mom/parent. I then gave her the same journal encouraging her to write her concerns as a response to me so that she can express her feelings to me in a respectful way. Looking back on those journal entries, we both realize that we are growing and strengthening our relationship one day at a time.
Journaling has helped my daughter and I stay connected especially when we don’t see eye to eye.