When you're caring for your child, making food for your child, playing with your child, driving your child to school and performing other parenting activities, it's important to make note of them in a parenting journal. This is true for all parents -- even married ones.
The reason why a parenting journal is important is because you can use it to prove your participation as a parent in the event that your parenting rights are challenged. Such a challenge could happen in court during a child custody dispute. It could also happen after your divorce if the other parent accuses you of not being a good parent. However, if you can present your parenting journal as evidence, you can show a written record of all the things you've done to be the best parent you can be.
To keep the most complete parenting journal possible, you'll want to include the following details:
- Times that you picked up and dropped off your child for visitations or exchanges. Also take note of any late arrivals or missed appointments by the other parent.
- Take notes on health appointments, doctors' visits and important medical information relating to your child.
- Record information about fun activities you did with your child, like reading your child a book, going to the park, playing a game, etc.
- Take notes on important conversations with the other parent, or information you'd like to discuss with the other parent.
- Record your child's mood and feelings after he or she comes back from visits with the other parent.
- Take notes on your child's behavior.
- Record how your child is performing in school and any comments from his or her teacher.
- Note important achievements in your child's development.
Aside from the legal benefits of keeping your parenting journal, you may also enjoy having your journal in the years to come as a keepsake. Your child, when he or she becomes an adult, may also take pleasure in seeing him or herself as a child through your eyes.