Many people — particularly men — cringe at the thought of journaling. They think it sounds like something Oprah would tell them to do if they really want to live their best life. However, keeping a journal can help people express and process the myriad thoughts and emotions that can be overwhelming during and after divorce.
If you are co-parenting children, keeping a journal devoted to them can help you and your kids during this time. Some online parenting apps include a journaling platform where co-parents can communicate about their kids and share in their growth without having to communicate directly with one another. They can share the entries they choose to and keep others private.
By having a shared journal with your co-parent, you can chronicle your children’s growth — physically, emotionally, in school and other aspects of their lives. They don’t have to be long entries, but the more regular they are made (perhaps every day or two), the better.
This shared journal can help parents better understand what’s going on in their kids’ lives when they’re with the other parent. Perhaps your child got into a fight with a friend, got picked on at school or was particularly disturbed by something on the news during the week. That child may then spend the weekend with the other parent who doesn’t understand why the child is upset.
The child may still need to talk about whatever happened but may not want to explain the whole thing to the other parent. If the parent already knows what’s going on, it may be easier for the child to share.
A shared journal can also let parents better track troubling behavior or moods they see in their children as they move between households. They can more easily determine whether a child may need outside help from a therapist or extra attention from school counselors. It’s harder for kids to hide what they’re going through when they have two concerned, aware parents.
Whatever your specific time-sharing relationship is with your co-parent, if he or she is keeping you out of the loop regarding what’s happening in your children’s lives and the two of you haven’t been able to resolve the issue, you may want to discuss it with your Florida family law attorney. He or she can provide guidance and support as you work to do what’s best for your children.