04 Writing Prompts

Write Diaries for Your Children

by Kelly DuMar, M.Ed.

Diary Door Opener Writing Prompts for Parents and Grandparents – August 2002

Expectant or Adoptive Parents

Often we encounter obstacles when we’re working to achieve something we want very much. Tell your future child the story about an obstacle you encountered in working toward bringing this baby into your life. Was there an expectation, a feeling or a belief that you needed to change or overcome in the process? How did you overcome this block? Who or what helped?

New Parents

This is not the time to have huge expectations about writing long diary entries to your new baby (or babies!). Give yourself permission to write a brief entry that may be a simple line or two about the most special moment of the day. Date the page. Use these brief entries to keep you connected to the diary writing process so that when you do have time for a longer entry you will have the diary handy and you won’t feel that you have to overcome a huge gap. Remember, “silences” during really busy times are a normal party of the rhythm of diaries.

Experienced Parents

No matter what time of day we sit down and pick up the pen, diary writing to our children can be a calming vacation. We make a cup of tea, we sit in our favorite writing spot, we open one of the beautiful blank books we’ve devoted to a child, we get ready to sink into the blank white of the pages of the diary, as refreshing as climbing between fresh, white clean sheets. This is a quiet time, a time to tune out the world around us and tune into our thoughts, feelings and memories about a particular child. We take a deep breath. Perhaps we smile, remembering a funny thing our child said earlier that we made a mental note to record. We write the date on the blank page. We don’t know what we’ll write next. How about this? Describe a moment you had with your child when you felt in harmony with him/her and the universe, when you felt uplifted and at peace with yourself and the world.

Parents of Teens

Write a diary entry that makes note of a physical change your teen has been going through and see what surfaces in your thoughts and feelings about this change. Is there a story you can tell your child about how this change is manifesting in his or her life?

Grandparents

Take out a photo of a family member who is not alive anymore. Open your grandchild’s diary, date the page, and tell your grandchild who is in the photo, when it was taken. What is the subject (s) doing in the photograh? Who is this person in relation to your grandchild? Who is this person in relation to you? Write to your child about everything that comes to mind when you look at this photograph.

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