Strengthen Your Relationships Through Writing

A “memory” status came up on my Facebook feed of my teen boys 5 years ago. Wow, did they look different! I tried to think back to the moment the picture was taken, to think back to even the time period. But I couldn’t remember the details. 

My boys and nieces 5 years ago making dumplings for Korean New Year

What I would give to for a moment, re-live what life was like when my kids were infants, toddlers, elementary school kids. It all went by so fast and I don’t remember most of it! But what if we had an account of it on paper? 

Last month, I wrote in a blog post (5 Steps to Inspired Living) that I believe writing unlocks our subconscious and provides a release for thoughts and feelings we keep pent up inside. It’s one of those things we don’t realize we need until after we do it for a while and see the positive impact it can have. 

Until I started writing on this blog in 2016, I didn’t know how cathartic writing would be for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a natural born writer and I still find it hard to express what I want to say. But I’ve made it enough of a practice to see its benefits. I’ve also become a better communicator through being consistent with jotting down my thoughts. 

Can writing strengthen our relationships?

This is a question I didn’t think to ask myself until I was having a conversation with my friend the other day. She mentioned a practice she’s been doing for her 3 kids since they were little. She has a journal dedicated to each child for whom she write letters to whenever she can. 

My friend’s journals for each of her 3 kids.

Such a simple idea, and she’s certainly not the first person to do this. But wow, what a wonderful gift to give her kids when they grow up! And at the same time, letters to our loved ones allow us to process our own thoughts about what is going on with our relationships. And finally, we can have documentation of life over time to look back on and remember the day-to-day, long afterwards!

Why didn’t I do this?! With my boys now being 15 and almost 17, I struggle to remember how it felt during their “little” years. 

Well, it’s better late than never. I’ve ordered my journals, and I’m starting now.

Write what you want to say, but can’t

Over the past few years, I’ve had a tough time connecting with my teen boys. Once they entered the stage of adolescence, I felt them pushing me away. It’s common, I know. They are seeking independence, and I represent everything but that. 

Being the mom and only female in my family can get lonely. I find myself wanting to connect with them but at a loss for words other than, “What did you do today?” “How are you doing?” “Come talk to me.” There are so many feelings I have about my kids throughout the years and their life-stages that I don’t know how to express but are notable thoughts I want to remember. 

Just like it’s helpful to write for our own selves, it will be helpful to process my relationships with each of my kids through writing! 

I’m not going to give myself a strict timeline because I don’t want to feel like these journals are a chore. I will write whenever I can, noting simple moments on my mind to special milestones. 

Leave a piece of you behind

I imagine, just as my kids want me to understand them, I want my kids to know me too. To truly know who I am as a person. The journal will give them a peek inside our family from my perspective. At their age now, it’s hard for them to understand where I’m coming from in many areas of life. They will likely be able to relate to it more when they are adults. 

Their lives from mom’s perspective. And one day, it will be a little bit of me I’ll leave behind. 

These are the Tree of Life journals I purchased on Amazon. I bet stationary stores have a beautiful selection but you know, I hate shopping (or now you know!) 

Whether it’s a journal speaking to your children, your partner, or to yourself, it can record all the thoughts you may have but haven’t found an opportunity to share, aren’t ready to, or just want to process your feelings through writing.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this topic. Do you want to start this practice? Too much of a chore? Let me know your thoughts!

Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt. A Lifestyle Blog by Jen Oliak.