If you have a child, boy or girl, that’s 10 years or older, buy them a nice diary and urge them to use it. The Little Diary Trick is one of those ideas I can assure you will pay great dividends because if your child develops the discipline to journal regularly they will not only develop their writing skills but they will be quietly building a treasure-chest of memories they will cherish forever.
The photo you see in this post is a picture of the diary I kept during some of my teenage years. It somewhat consistently contains the chronicles of my life from the ages 13 to 17. I can’t remember why I wanted to buy a diary in the first place but when I bought it I remember thinking that it was going to be a fun yet frightful thing. My biggest fear was that my elderly grandparents who raised me were getting older and maybe it would come to pass that one day I would be writing about the sheer anguish of losing my grandfather Manolo (then nearly 90) or grandmother Margarita (then in her late 60s).
Alas, in November of 1984,a little over a year after I began my diary, my beloved grandpa died. In November of 1984, the man who to me was quite nearly my father, passed away. His death occupied an important part of my diary and to this day his passing is easily book-marked with the funeral home card that I kept as a memento. I continued the journal until 1987 because by then I was such a hyperactive teenager that I couldn’t keep up with that or any other routine.
Until recent years, I swore that I wouldn’t keep another diary. Despite knowing that it would contain many happy memories I believed that keeping a diary would also be too much of a reminder of any painful, dark valleys in my life. Who wants to remember that?, I thought. Leafing through my old diary today, I think about how foolish I’ve been. That worn little diary is full of some of the most precious, fading memories I would surely have forgotten about my since-deceased grandparents, father and even friends.
Today, 23 years after the last chapter of my little diary was written, I’m back to journaling here with PapiBlogger. Writing about my life as a husband and father of three wonderfully rambunctious kids, Jonathan (10), Elena (6) and Briani (1) is something I do out of my passionate belief that parenting should be fun and creative.
I still haven’t lost my natural fear to the things that can happen in life but the way I see things now, the rewards of chronicling what I’m doing as a parent outweighs everything else. The greatest ambition of PapiBlogger is for this content to serve as a virtual heirloom for my kids and grandkids.
I wouldn’t be doing this today if I hadn’t once had that old, dusty little diary to help me understand the value of journaling. Get your kid a diary. They will cherish it one day.