It’s amazing how more and more children are familiar with gratitude buckets, yoga poses and calming breathing techniques.
Thankfully, children are being taught how to self-regulate and calm their big feelings.
Journaling is another great exercise in self-awareness and emotional expression. No matter your child’s age, they can begin a healthy journaling practice and here’s why they should:
1. Journaling Helps Improves Your Child’s Writing Skills
The more your child writes, the more they practice writing, spelling, grammar and how to communicate their ideas in written form.
As children progress through school, more and more focus will be placed on essay writing and written communication.
Having your child keep a journal helps to develop these necessary skills.
2. Journaling Enhances Communication Skills
Journaling helps your child articulate their thoughts and ideas as well as organize their thoughts.
This is especially useful when your child is upset and cannot explain why. Writing down how they are feeling helps them to then communicate those feelings to other people.
3. Journaling Helps Your Child Deal With Their Emotions
Journaling is a healthy way to release feelings, especially big ones that your child has difficulty dealing with.
Writing out their emotions will also help your child process how they are feeling.
4. Journaling Reduces Depression and Anxiety
Releasing pent up negative emotions helps to reduce depression and anxiety and create a more positive frame of mind.
This practice will help your child learn how to transition from negative emotions such as madness and sadness to more positive ones.
5. Journaling Helps Create Empathy
Journaling helps children develop empathy by recognizing their own feelings, which in turn helps them realize that everyone faces challenges.
Writing out their feelings also helps them view their own issues from a different perspective.
6. Journaling Increases Self Confidence
As your child creates a habit of writing in a journal, they develop a stronger sense of self by getting to know themselves.
Writing down thoughts and feelings makes them feel more real and helps children confirm what they already know about themselves.
Tips to Help Your Child Journal
Here are some tips to help your child start journaling:
Let them choose their journal.
When you let your children choose their own journal or notebook, it makes the experience more personal for them.
Check out journals on Amazon or browse your local dollar store. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive.
Start small and age appropriate.
When your child first starts journaling, they are likely not going to immediately fill the pages with their inner thoughts and feelings.
Young children are not going to have the writing and language skills to actually write. You can have them begin by drawing pictures of their day or how they feel.
As they learn to write, get them to write a sentence or two. Eventually, they will be able to increase the length of their entries.
Give them journal prompts.
If your child is unsure what to write about, you can give them some journal prompts to get them started.
Have them write about their favorite show or latest dream – anything that gets them writing.
Create a habit of journaling.
Set aside a time every day for your child to write in their journal. The when depends entirely on your family’s schedule and routine.
Just be sure to add journaling into your routine in order to create a habit.
Journal with them.
Children learn through imitation, so model this healthy activity by starting your own journal. Create a special time for you and your child to sit and write together.
You may be surprised how beneficial journaling is to you as well.
Respect their privacy.
Never read their journal without their permission. In order for your child to comfortably write out their thoughts and feelings, they need to trust that their journal is private.