There’s probably no better place to talk about or “talk back to” family members than in your journal or diary. The journal is the perfect space and outlet to write about your parents, spouse, children, or extended family members. Some journal entries about family members are like snapping happy family photos of memorable moments, birthdays, and celebrations, while other entries are expressions of anger, and moments of torment, sadness, and misunderstandings.
With Day One, you may want to tag non-private journal entries as “family,” or with specific names of family members, while other family entries are tagged “private” for never sharing, or even perhaps deleting one day. Remember, tagged entries are a great way to filter entries and export to PDF for sharing and archiving. (Note: see my guest post article on EasyJournaling.com about keeping a public and private journal.
When it comes to family entries, what you write in your journal is just as precious as the photos you take of your new-born, or the videos you shoot at family gatherings. You might write journal entries that record stories told by a grandparent, descriptions of holiday events, or “stepping stone” lists of important events and days in the life of your children growing up. As a digital journal, Day One also makes to include journal entries of copied emails, text messages, and Facebook posts with and between family members—just as snail mail letters were once kept in shoeboxes alongside black-and-white photos.
Other family related journal entries may not always be G-rated or as positive. Writing about the challenges of growing up, the headaches from being a parent, or the failures of a marriage can be the best place to work through family struggles and relationships. The act of writing is a reflective process, and it can lead you to thinking more objectively about family related problems from the point of view of another family member. This is why journal and diary keeping should be mostly a private space, where you can be honest with yourself, let out some steam, and explore your feelings and frustrations.
Family Journal Prompts
The following are few journal prompts for family related journal entries:
- Write a list of adjectives to describe each of your individual family members. Use as many adjectives as possible. This is a great way to brainstorm topics for other family related entries.
- Write a personal profile of each of your family members. Describe their personality, their favorite foods and activities, and what you love most about them.
- Write about your most memorable family gathering. Where and when did it occur? What makes it memorable?
- Write about the earliest memories you have of your parents?
- What lessons did your mother and/or father teach you that have been useful for you throughout your life?
- Write about the story-teller in your family—the family member who seems to know everything about everyone else.
- Describe what it was like to experience birth of your first child.
- Write about the positive qualities of your children, and how their personalities have changed or developed over the years.
- Write about how you met your spouse.
- What do you look most forward to in your marriage?
- How has you marriage changed over the years?
- Write about what you would like to say to your spouse or significant other, but rather not say verbally to him or her.
- Write a short fictional vignette about your best Friday night date you’ve ever had.
- Write from the point of view of your significant other about the last argument you had.
- Add a family photo to your Day One journal, and write about what’s not seen, good and bad, in the photo.
Note: this book is excerpt from my forthcoming book, Starting From Day One-Using Digital Journaling to Enhance Your Life. I welcome your feedback as I’m writing it.