4 Secrets to How Journaling for Kids Will Improve Writing Skills + Free Journaling Resources
Journaling can help your child process and communicate their ideas.
By: Elizabeth Neal | MyAmazingContent.com
What is journaling for kids?
Scholastic Parents has information on the benefits of kids journaling. Click Here!
Journaling for kids is a lot more relaxed than it is for adults. There aren’t really any specific rules to be followed, and they don’t need a fancy journal. Instead, most kids are happy to write in a basic spiral notebook.
The goal of journaling is to introduce children to writing as a way of managing their emotions. However, they don’t have to write about how they feel or what they are thinking. They could use it as a place to draw, or to write down whatever it is they want to.
If you plan on getting your child into journaling, they should always be in control of how they want to do it. If you try to add rules to journal time, it’s going to feel like a chore for your kids and they eventually won’t want to do it anymore.
Things like spelling, grammar and punctuation aren’t important either. Journaling is a place to write with no rules or limitations. If they start to worry about their punctuation, they aren’t going to be writing mindfully.
While there are no rules for kids when they journal, there are some for the parents. If you want your kid to get the most out of their journaling experience, they need to feel safe to write about anything. This means it needs to stay private.
If they know you are going to read it, they won’t necessarily write what they think or feel. So, as difficult as it may be, allowing them privacy with their journal is important.
Even if they just journal for a few minutes each day, it will deliver a lot of great benefits for their mental health.
Benefits of journaling for kids
There have been a lot of studies carried out to determine the benefits of journaling for kids. When practiced regularly, journaling can help to boost both mental and physical health.
Let’s look at some of the main benefits journaling has for kids below…
1. It helps to build emotional intelligence
Being a kid can be tough. Depending on their age, kids aren’t always able to understand or manage their emotions. It can be confusing having strong emotions like anger or fear, and not fully understanding them. Journaling is a place where they can build up emotional intelligence.
As they begin to recognize and understand their emotions better, it leads to better self-awareness. This in turn will help them to become more in control of their emotions and the way they react.
2. Inspiring creativity and problem solving
Journaling helps to foster creativity and problem-solving skills. Many kids choose to write stories in their journal, making up things that happened that day. This is a natural part of developing creativity and exploring their thoughts and ideas.
You can also teach your kids how to journal for problem solving. This will allow them to start recognizing solutions to any problems they are experiencing. Studies show that kids who journal tend to develop much better problem-solving skills than those who don’t.
3. It can help them to develop a more positive mindset
One of the best benefits of journaling is that it can help you to develop a more positive mindset. This is the same for kids. If you teach them how to journal for gratitude, they will start to see the world with a more positive outlook.
The earlier kids learn how to focus on the positive, the easier it will make their adult lives. So, this is a skill that will prove essential as they grow into adults.
4. A safe place for them to express themselves
Kids can find it really difficult to express themselves. It can be a confusing time growing up and having to deal with unfamiliar thoughts and feelings. Teaching them how to express themselves in their journal will help them to become happier and healthier.
When kids can express themselves freely, they tend to be calmer and well-rounded. They won’t experience as many angry outbursts, and they will be in a much better position to handle their emotions.
Of course, you need to give them the space to express themselves in their journal. This means as mentioned earlier, giving them privacy.
These are only a handful of the benefits kids can receive when they journal regularly. The question is, how can you get them started?
How to Get Started
You don’t need a lot to get your kids into journaling. Rather than investing in a fancy journal, you’ll find most kids are happy with something basic.
If you want to increase the chance they will write in their journal, let them choose their own. They may even want to invest in several notebooks to write different things in each one.
Once you have a journal and the supplies they will need, there are several ways to get started. Here’s some of the techniques you can use…
Lead by example
If you want your kids to take an interest in journaling, make sure you are doing it yourself. Kids always want to follow whatever adults are doing. So, if they see you sitting there writing in your journal, they are going to want to do the same.
Make sure you write in front of them, but don’t let them see it.
Explain that journals are private and only the person who writes in them sees what it says. This adds a level of excitement for kids as they too will want their own private book to write in.
Provide challenges and prompts
While kids do have an excellent imagination, that doesn’t mean they will always know what to write. Staring at a blank page can be daunting. So, to get them started it’s a good idea to provide them with some prompts.
You could ask them to write a list of their favorite things. Or get them to write about their favorite memory. If you take a look online, you’ll be able to find a huge list of prompts you can get your kids to follow.
Make it fun with stickers and felt pens
Kids have a notoriously short attention span. They are also driven by the things they want, rather than need. Therefore, if you want to make journaling a regular part of your kid’s routine, you are going to need to make it as fun as possible.
Giving them stickers and felt pens to use in their journal will increase the chances they will use it. Keeping them in charge of their journaling sessions will also help to make it more enjoyable.
As you can see, journaling is a fantastic outlet for kids. It can provide a lot of great benefits that can aid in their development. The above are some of the best tips you can try when getting your kids started with journaling. Remember, don’t put any pressure on them to write every day. Let them write when and what they want to.