Keeping Records

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by susiestar, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have been thinking about how the records we keep about our kids.

    Many of us keep mood charts, notes or journal entries on the difficult, mean and/or unpleasant things our kids do. (I do mean my family as well as all of your families.)

    Even if it is just a file folder that we put all the notes from teachers in, or a special folder we put emails about our kids into. We DO keep records of the bad stuff or different stuff especially so we can spot trends in behavior and keep tabs on all that is going on.

    How many of us would want to work in a place that only kept files of what we did wrong? Where our mistakes were legion and documented in great detail. We are the "Boss" of our family (including spouse in the "We") and it is up to us to set the tone. If my boss was always telling me I messed up, or going around behind me "fixing" what I had just done, and just being upset or disappointed in me, then I would be looking for a job I could enjoy and do well. I wouldn't feel good about myself or what I bring to the world. It would be tough to function in any setting after being demoralized that way.

    How often do we record those special moments that melt our hearts? Even if it is just a "love you too" as they scoot out the door to go somewhere?

    Would it be good to keep notes about positive things our kids say or do? Even when it is just that they didn't do something that bothered you? Where would the best place to keep these positive things? Same notebook as the negative stuff? Separate one? In our daily calendar? Written on small slips tucked into a box?

    I wonder if this would be as useful, or maybe even more useful? to the psychiatrist and therapist when reviewing things - another way to track progress??

    Maybe we can work on finding 2 or 3 positive items per day that we can write down?? Maybe after that we could work on 2 positive things for every negative thing?

    We do not have to tell the kids we are recording these things. Just as we don't tell them we are recording the other stuff - each family probably has a different way of handling this stuff.

    I wonder what changes we will see in OUR behavior toward our kids as we record these things??

    I am going to start emailing myself in the evenings with things each child does that day.

    Anyone care to join me??

    ps. For a really cool gift for a Grandma or Grandpa you can write down cute things your kids do and/or say on small slips of paper. Then fold the papers and put them in a child's cup. I used one of those sippy cups with the valve that doesn't let it spill if tipped. It was sent packaged nicely in a box with a card that said each slip of paper was a hug from my child. The grandparent is supposed to read a slip or three when they are feeling down or just need a hug. I did this for my mom when Jessie was just 6 months old. She still has it, sippy cup and all, displayed on a shelf where she can grab a hug anytime she needs one.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What a great idea! Unfortunately, I'm one of the worse when it comes to documenting things, good or bad. I need to get better at this. I'm going to make it my goal to write down some positives every day!
  3. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Actually I do keep track of the good too. I find it balances me, keeps me in a more positive frame of mind. Now granted these are the extra good things, not the normal good things.
  4. ML

    ML Guest

    Susie this is a great idea. I'm not a great documenter either but I need to work on that. We hear about trying to catch our kids doing things right and that makes so much sense. I read once, years ago, that for criticism to be accepted as "constructive" it has to be like a 10 to 1 ratio for it to be accepted as such. Meaning that for every negative thing you need to have it supported basically by 10 compliments. I like that so much!
  5. FlipFlops

    FlipFlops Guest

    Okay. Cute story for you guys. A couple of years ago my mom and the kids were going somewhere. She goes by Mimi. Kids were talking about Mimi. I believe it was easy child 2 that said something about Mimi being old. difficult child chimed in and,"Nuh-Uh. Mimi is new." My mom got a real kick out of that of course.
    My records equate to about 4 three inch binders or more. I do keep the little cards some teachers or bus drivers have given, as well as some of his art work and "sorry" notes. No one of "authority" ever wants to see anything in my binders. They just take my word for it. I guess they figure if I took the time to collect it and card all that in I am serious. For all they know, I could just have stacks of blank paper though. I am always a little disappointed they don't even ask about any of it...
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We made a point of doing this in difficult child 3's Communication Book. At first his teacher reacted with hostility, she accused me of being unfair to her (as if I had accused her of only being negative) when in fact I was making it as a suggestion, and to reinforce anythnig positive she might have written.

    This is really valuable - not only does it 'lock in' the memories of good things, but it can change your perspective of the child, even on a bad day, if you can find something nice to say even in the face of bad stuff.

    I do a lot of writing, one thing we learn is that no character (in a story) is totally black or totallywhite; we are complex. Plus we are a blend, we also never believe ourselves to be bad. Deep in our hearts, we always put ourselves in with the good guys.

    difficult child 3 sometims reads through his old Communication Books. He gets angry if all he can find is negativity, especially written by his teachers. KNowing we have good stuff in there too helps him see the balance. It also helps us to look back and see how far he has come. Having the positive stuff there makes the back-reading a more pleasant, positive experience for everybody.

  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    We communicate by email to the psychiatrists treating our kids. We almost always write in the positives as well as the negatives so the psychiatrists can get a fuller picture of whether medications and therapy are working or not.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Since I have no more need to keep any records on the boys this doesnt apply but I know that when I was going in constantly to the caseworker she would always ask about the good stuff too.

    Now when I go into therapy for myself we talk about good and bad and when I email her, both good things and bad things go in there. Its basically a back and forth communication like I would have with a friend.
  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    As one who was recently judged to be Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) because of my record keeping, how to keep this same information without appearing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) about it has been on my mind lately.

    I do email the good stuff around to grandma's, etc, and that's in my book, as well, but its probably not often enough.

    Thanks for the reminder.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Ya know what? I love this idea. We (I'm guilty!) get so wrapped up in what's wrong with our kids that we don't always consider what's right.

    Not only that, but then when we're feeling overwhelmed we can pull something out and remember why we love them.