When my son was born 14 years ago I started a journal initially about him. Most of the entries into a MS Word document were about his growth, development and how we were coping as parents. Over time I started adding more posts about current events, my political and religious philosophy, significant events in our family and my general hopes and dreams for him.

My whole goal was to leave him a body of written work that he could read and reflect up when he was older. The journal has become much more important to me because I set forth all my rationalizes and excuses for all my actions and decisions. You just can’t explain to a 10 year old the real reasons why you don’t see your family, had to move out of town or got a divorce. My hope is that he will read it and have a better insight into who I was. Perhaps the light bulb will go and he will say, “Now I understand why dad was so against that.”

To often and to late in life I wanted to ask my parents what their motivations were for their decisions or what the history was in our family. If you have a very open and supportive family, you may not see the need to journal for your child. But there are always things we want to express and convey to our young and older children that we just can’t say out loud at the moment.