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Before You Forget: The Wisdom of Writing Diaries for Your Children [Paperback]

Kelly Du Mar

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Parenting Inspiration! 28 May 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I have thouroughly enjoyed the author's stories as well as her storytelling technique. It is an inspiring parenting tool, as well as a feel good reading experience, and one that I will go back to over and over again. I have given 3 away as gifts in the first 2 weeks after reading it because it is the kind of book that needs to be shared... and I'm not giving up my copy!!
We have all written a letter or made notes to our children when we have something monumental to share. What the author helps us understand (and it's really been right there under our noses) is that all the stories, no matter how casual or routine they seem at the time, are equal in our children's minds, as they are their stories, and the fact that we treasure those stories enough to write them, is monumental in itself to our children.
Besides the motivation and inspiration she provides to tell our childrens stories, her writing is so pleasurable, I can't imagine not enjoying anything the author would give to us. So I look forward to her next book, and of possibly hearing more stories like the one with Perrin and the moon that she will some day hold in her hands.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeping in Touch 22 May 2001
By Lisa Friedlander, LiCSW - Published on Amazon.com
Kelly DuMar's book is a true original. During the first of her third pregnancies, DuMar began keeping diary letters to her child-to-be. Continuing this process through three children, she has a collection of letters which document, interpret, love, and laugh through the baby-steps, discoveries, antics and landmark events that shape her children's lives as well as her parenting skills. Through examples of her own writing as well as exercises she calls diary door openers, DuMar gently guides the reader--perhaps a parent, grandparent, or any adult who values her relationship with a child or children--across the threshold and into the delighting world of writing diary stories about the children in one's life and the relationships one has with them. From days of oral traditions to the present, children love to sit around the hearth, the camp fire, or in the glow of a fading day and listen to stories about their acts of bravery or mastery, their funniest moments, their first dates. What a rich experience for a parent, to reach for a diary and read your child something you wrote five years ago, refreshing the memory and revisiting the past in a vital, interactive way. Dumar is breaking new ground in "Before You Forget," and writes in an accessible, down-to-earth way about parenting children, writing about their lives, and honoring family life in a creative and satisfying way.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open a New Door in your Parenting Life 4 Oct 2001
By Debra Ann Gfeller, MD, Fellow of the Academy of Pediatrics - Published on Amazon.com
Kelly DuMar's book has been a gentle stimulous into a new media of communicating with my children. Now, through this new genre of diary writing, I feel I have a place to take my experiences with my children, whether they are conflicts or compromises or simply shared fun, and I can explain how I am feeling about these experiences in real time, knowing that my words will be read and better understood in the future. Kelly has a way of encouraging her readers at every step to see this as a truly fun and rewarding experience, and she gives you lots of excellent suggestions to get you started. I feel I have been given a gift in this book, and that I am creating a gift for my daughters as I learn how to walk through her diary door.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stories for History 9 Jun 2001
By Dorothy Burke - Published on Amazon.com
Before You Forget is a must-have reference book for anyone who has a child in his or her life. Using herself and her family as examples, Kelly Du Mar describes techniques and processes for capturing the precious and transitory memories (beauty marks, warts, and all) of our youngsters as they journey through life. She has created a way to add flesh to the bare bones of factual data found in most family hstories and genealogies. Imagine a child of the future discovering a treasure of stories and anecdoes written by and about ancestors many eyars earlier. This book presents a way for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends to create a gift that keeps giving for generations to come.
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and practical. 29 May 2004
By Oleanna - Published on Amazon.com
DuMar's encouraging, well-considered advice for parents or other caring adults on preserving children's stories for them, not in a demanding literary manner, but in a personal, from-the-heart diary form written with a child's perspective in mind, expands on the usual babybook to record all the "firsts" and also do much more.
Beyond bare-bones developmental record books, or family histories, the immediacy and therapeutic nature of keeping diaries for children helps process the difficult things that happen and bring out joy and wonder for both adults and children. DuMar shows how the writing itself helps us examine roles, allows exploration of feelings, clarifies understanding, and enhances efforts to make needed changes.
Her examples show how parental awareness and reflection required for capturing family experiences in writing improve positive parenting, while the entries themselves strengthen family connections and record the special, individual experiences and accomplishments that help sustain children's healthy self-concepts, world views and values. She even demonstrates creative ways diarykeeping can help problemsolve and reduce sibling rivalry- really- not by playing analyst, but in a real- life, natural way.
Besides demonstrating the benefits of creating such living legacies, she explains how to go about creating them. With her only firm rule being to date the entries, her practical, nontechnical instruction about writing uses examples, discusses appropriate coverage of family skeletons and other difficult topics, and offers starter ideas and tips for overcoming blocks. Excluding use of computers or sound recordings in creating diaries, she includes interesting, valuable information about every other aspect imaginable, and admirably conveys her passion and knowledge with a caring attitude. Her simple, brilliant ideas provide powerful inspiration. They're helpful and doable.
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