Just Between Us
My daughter is approaching 10 and my primary concern at this point is to keep her communicating with me. Somehow I feel like if I can just keep her talking to and trusting me, we'll be okay in what I know are some more complicated waters ahead.
One tool I'm using to help keep her communicating is a wonderful mother-daughter journal called Just Between Us: A No-Stress, No-Rules Journal for Girls and Their Moms. Created by a mother-daughter pair, Meredith and Sofie Jacobs, the journal contains both blank pages and those with writing prompts and questions. The idea is that we write to each other and share it back and forth. On the blank pages we write whatever we want, and the questions and prompts are the same for each, so we can respond to the same things and see what the other says.
It's already become a treasured tradition between the two of us. We pass it back and forth, taking turns writing answers and then surreptitiously putting the book in the others' room for them to discover. We've been working our way slowly through the book for a year plus now, and it's already amazing to look back and see how much her handwriting has changed and matured. I always remember to date the pages, which helps me place the observations she or I make in context.
Just Between Us is an easy and low-pressure way to keep your tween daughter talking to you. It's also really fun. I have given the journal to several friends who have daughters around Grace's age, and continue to do so. I think it's a great gift to someone in a similar stage of life. My 9 1/2 year old daughter and I both highly recommend this book/journal!