I’ve done plenty of things wrong while parenting my small brood of four, but one thing that I’m so glad I did was start a kids’ quote journal. It has preserved their childhood in small doses—quotes that they’ve said over the years that were adorably cute and funny that illuminate their age, personality, and measure growth.

I used to love journaling; I’d write regularly about my life and my thoughts. But when all of a sudden I had four kids, my time for journaling flew out the window. I still want to document this part of my life, but just don’t have time for a traditional journal. So I customized this little notebook and keep it on my kitchen counter. Throughout the days and weeks, I quickly jot down the endearing things that I hear my children say.

I started this kids’ quote journal when my oldest was two years old. Now she is nine and has three siblings. They all love looking through the journal and reading the things they’ve said and done over the years. We laugh at the entries and it’s amazing how one little notebook has captured so much of our life during this crazy phase.

Keeping a kids quote journal

1. Why?

A kids’ quote journal is a book of quotes that come directly from the mouths of babes (or tweens, or teenagers). It is one of my most valuable possessions.

Kids really do say the coolest things. My journal is filled to the brim with little quotes that I never want to forget, like:

I asked my four-year-old, “Am I the best mom in the world?” She thinks for a minute then answers, “No, but you’re sweet.”

Even though I don’t write in it every day, the journal is always visible so that when I do have a quick second, I write down a quote or two. Now that they are growing, it’s more important than ever. One day, the four little ones who are always underfoot, babbling my ear off will grow up. They’ll be off on their own and the house will be quiet. This book will be all I have left of those tiny voices.

Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle, think about keeping a kids’ quote journal—it’s never too late to start.

2. How To Keep a Kids Quote Journal

It’s really easy. First get a journal, or make one. You can find them with fancy graphics and adorable speech bubbles or you can use any regular journal. Mine is just a notebook with a handy elastic strap to keep the pages in check.

Convenience is key. Keeping a pen inside the journal at all times and keeping the journal in an easy-to-see, easy-to-reach spot reminds me to write in it regularly. I keep mine on the kitchen counter because it seems to be the central place we all gather. Whenever any of my kids says something funny, cute, or too sassy for their own good…I grab the journal and jot it down.

Some of my favorite quotes:

I overhear my two oldest (6 and 4) talking in the next room. Sis asks her brother, “Who you gonna marry?” He replies, “Tumbody I don’t know.” Sis asks, “Are you gonna marry someone in high school?” He laughs like that is the silliest question in the world. “NO! I going to marry tumbody in the church!”

***

Little buddy (5 years old): What are those drinks in the fridge?

Me: Oh, those are to help Dad lose weight.

Little buddy: I know what can help Dad lose weight…Nutrisystem for Men! (He’s obviously seen way too many ESPN commercials watching basketball with Dad.)

In the business of raising children, there exists a stark dichotomy—we want them to grow up, but when they do, we mourn the end of their childhood. There is something so incredibly special about those years, and as they pass through our fingers, the loss is tangible.

If hadn’t been recording these lines, they would have been gone forever. As much as we’d like to think we’ll remember the important stuff, it’s just not possible. It pains me to think of the ones I’ve missed along the way. Don’t wait a second longer. Start right now—it’s never too late—and safeguard their childhood one little quote at a time.

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