A Two Way Notebook For The Parents Of Young Kids

These days, parents of young kids are extremely busy.  And they always have so much information to keep track of.

Your brain is packed with important, sort-of-important, and not-so-important information about your kids. 

A lot of parents keep a notebook or Microsoft Word document where they record their kids’ important milestones and precocious remarks.  Do you do that?  If you don’t – and please don’t feel guilty here — I highly recommend that you start one right away!

Time passes far too quickly, and kids grow up in the blink of an eye!  Your charming and sweet toddler suddenly disappears and is replaced by a pimply teenager asking for a more flexible curfew!  Yep; it happens.

Truth be told, this suggestion – to record your child’s milestones and charming comments –is not novel.  Others have certainly proposed it.

But I’d like to suggest a slight, important tweak to this notebook.  I think this memory helper should be a “two-way” situation, meaning that you should record not only the things your kids do and say, but also the things you’d like to say to your kids. 

You undoubtedly have a lot of interesting and important things to tell your kids.  Have you told them how you met your husband?  Have you told them about your favorite Halloween costume?  Have you told them a trick you used in school to help you remember how to spell the word “dessert” correctly? 

Maybe those examples seem a bit trivial.  (But really, wouldn’t your kids like to hear them?)  You probably have some less trivial information to impart:  that you’d always like your kids – no matter what – to help their siblings.  That family time is your favorite part of the day.  That holding your fork like a person and not a gorilla is very important to you.

I don’t think that all the notes in your notebook have to be of monumental importance.  Anything that’s even slightly interesting can be written down there.  Record any somewhat interesting information that could be the basis for a conversation.   These topics can pass the time over dinner or during a traffic jam.

Here are items I have written down at the moment that I want to remember to tell my children:

  • A list of books, music, and movies that I (one day) want to share with my kids
  • Something funny that happened to me at the gym
  • A few words in German that I find amusing
  • Thoughts about how to deal with bullies
  • An idea or two for a new kind of smoothie

With everything else filling parents’ brains, sometimes it’s hard to remember to tell the kids all this stuff.  So . . . help yourself out.  Put this stuff in the notebook! Let me know what you are putting in your notebook.