Tips For Use

Tips For Use

While many of us are used to writing email, texting and sharing status updates on social media, FEJ is a little different. Using the tips below could help make your experience more positive.

  • The spirit of FamilyeJournal is positive communication. We want to help give each family member a voice and a chance to be heard.
  • Treat with respect all information learned through FEJ.
  • How you handle the information you learn will dictate the effectiveness of FEJ and, more importantly, the relationship you have with that individual.
  • When you receive difficult or disturbing news, take time to think about how you want to react.
  • If a topic originates in FEJ, it may be best to continue discussing it there.
  • Proofread your work. You may find a way to express yourself more clearly or with an entirely different tone.
  • Lead by example. The more you share openly and honestly, the more likely others will do the same.
  • Take the time to organize your thoughts before writing or submitting.
  • Think hard about what other family members are writing and feeling before you respond.

Suggested House Rules

Whether all family members live under the same roof or are spread around the world, a few House Rules can help make the eJournal a more postive experience for your family.

  • Any topic addressed using FEJ should be discussed using a similar written-medium (e.g. email or text) unless there is a risk of immediate danger. For example, if a teenager shares they are contemplating smoking parents may want to find out what their motivation is rather than rushing into the teen’s room furious and screaming.
  • Do not punish a family member for being open and honest.
  • When a family member completes an eJournal, remember they are sharing their perspective and feelings. It may be helpful to try understanding where they are coming from rather than judge or get upset if you don't agree.
  • Use FEJ to ask a family member if they would like to discuss a topic face-to-face before forcing a confrontation.
  • Always treat a family member's thoughts and feelings as serious and sensitive even if you don't consider it a big deal. For example, an adult family member may share they were upset because they missed watching Sunday football with the family while you may not think much of it. However, for that family member, Sunday football may be their way to spend quality time and "connect" with the family.