Remember that little diary you had as a child? Journaling can be a great exercise for children to be able to express themselves in a safe place. Join us as author Sherry Kyle shares some wonderful tips on how to encourage your child to journal!
When I was a child, my dad was a computer programmer and every once in a while he’d bring home a stack of computer paper for us kids. We’d draw, color, and make paper airplanes. My favorite memory, however, was when I created a journal from those pages, a place to write my inner thoughts and feelings.
There are many positive reasons why our kids should journal, such as a place for self-exploration, to get out frustrations, or work through problems. Freedom of expression, to write anything that comes to mind without being judged or graded, empowers children and allows them to let down their guard and discover who they are.
But there’s more…
Journal writing also helps kids gain better writing skills, and it builds their confidence too!
Here are some simple tips to get your child started:
#1 Have your child pick out a special book/notebook
Go to an office supply store, and let your child pick out a book. There are many options, including hardcover journal books with blank pages, or simple school notebooks with lined paper. Choosing a book helps your child make a personal connection.
#2 Buy fun pens/markers.
The type of book your child chooses will give you some indication on the type of pens or markers to buy. You don’t want the ink to seep through the paper onto the next page! The key is the thicker the paper, the heavier the ink.
#3 Journal ideas/themes.
If your child doesn’t know what to write, give her a writing prompt, such as “The best/worst part of my day was __________________,” or “If I could fly an airplane, I’d go ___________.”
Specific times of year help create a journal’s theme, such as a family vacation or holiday.
Maybe your child loves to write poetry, short stories, or book reviews.
Prayer journals or a place to write letters to God is also a great idea.
Drawing pictures is a good place to start for children learning to write.
#4 Keep it private!
Tell your child she can keep her journal private because it’s her special book. The main thing is to let your child know that their journal is a safe place to journal anything that comes to mind.
#5 Model it.
It’s no secret that kids mimic what their parents do. If they see their parent write in a journal, they are more likely to keep one too.
#6 Have fun!
The best part about journal writing for kids is that they can’t “mess it up” because there are no rules!
Did you have a journal when you were a child? Does your child have one now?
has written several books for tween girls, along with women’s fiction. Her award-winning book for tween girls,
The Christian Girl’s Guide to Style
, was awarded the God Mom’s Choice Award. Get excited for her upcoming release: Love, Lexi!
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