by Lissa Halls Johnson

Things had become so complicated between my daughter and me. We’d always had a good relationship, but now it seemed to be dissolving into moodiness and anger. I tried leaving her alone; I tried talking with her. But her volatile emotions were too easily provoked. 


So I bought a notebook and wrote her a quick note: I’m sorry we’ve been at odds with each other lately, but I’d really like to communicate with you. Perhaps writing will allow us to express ourselves and allow the other to think about what is really being said rather than just react. I love you, and I do care what you are thinking about. Then I slipped the notebook underneath her pillow.


Just as I had hoped, the notebook would occasionally appear with updated comments from my daughter. I’d have time to pray about my response to her comments, and my daughter softened in her communication toward me. Although the emotions did not disappear, our relationship strengthened and we were better able to communicate.

Originally appeared in the December 2012 issue of Thriving Family magazine. Copyright ©2012 by Lissa Halls Johnson. Used by permission.

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