Writing is empowering. Writing is communication. Writing is expressing yourself. Journal writing has many benefits, especially for kids. From becoming better at communication to being able to manage emotions and feelings – when your kids start maintaining and writing in a journal, they’re actually helping themselves to grow. This article on why you should encourage your kids to keep a journal will explain all this and more, keep reading!
Maintaining a journal is more than having a ‘dear diary’ kind of experience. When it comes to kids, journaling brings in a variety of benefits such as enhanced writing fluency, communication skills and improved confidence. Apart from that, your child also develops a life-long skill which will help them improve their emotional intelligence.
So, no matter how old your child is, the fact is that they could gain a lot from keeping a journal and recording the thoughts and events in their lives. Here are important reasons why you should encourage your children to do so!
Journaling develops writing skills
Journaling helps communicate one’s idea through writing. So when children maintain a journal, they practice written communication skills which could be a great asset throughout life. In fact, some children find it easier to communicate through writing than the usual oral communication. Moreover, when you introduce journals to kids, they have to draw something from their vocabulary to pick the right words to communicate their thoughts so it automatically broadens their approach and the way they deal with language. Plus, they also get to practice their handwriting!
Journaling improves reading skills
Children tend to imitate what they know. When you introduce journal writing to kids, you might notice that their writing style emulates their favourite books. They might even use the same expressions and catchphrases. So, the more they write, the more they’ll want to read to build their vocabulary and add various voices and styles. This, eventually, helps them to find a unique voice of their own.
Journaling helps verbal expression
For kids who often find it challenging to express themselves verbally, writing in a journal is a fantastic way for them to organize their thoughts and feelings. So, even if your child writes about the interaction they had during the day by keeping a journal, rather than speaking about it, they’re already creating a situation that they can come back to and explore more objectively.
Journaling stimulates creativity
Most successful people share one thing in common – they employ a more creative approach in problem-solving and they use their creativity to find solutions for what others often see as a problem. This is an important trait.
Journaling through storytelling creates a neural pathway that is often associated with creativity. So, it’s advisable to give your child a story prompt which involves a problem and see if they can write about it to come up with more than one solution. Doing so provides a glimpse of their more active imagination. That’s not all, there are other benefits creative writing brings as well. The more your kids engage in the activity, the more they cultivate a strong sense of self-awareness and observation skills. Furthermore, journaling also fuels your child’s imagination, inspiring them to have fun while writing.
Journaling helps sharpen memory
Researchers discovered that journaling can improve working memory. When children practice writing they enhance their brain’s intake, processing, retaining, and retrieving of information; which means that overall, journaling promotes the brain’s attentive focus.
Journaling helps deal with big feelings
According to clinical psychologist Beth Jacobs, Ph. D.; journaling allows a person to make sense of his or her emotions therefore allowing him or her to deal with it accordingly.
It has been seen that journaling can help children make sense of and process some of their emotions. A child who keeps a journal is less likely to feel lonely and isolated. Moreover, a private journal can become a safe place for one to record feelings and emotions as well.
Most children feel better when they can express their feelings and emotions in a safe place where they will not be judged and a keeping a private journal allows your child to do just that. They can create “written conversations” with themselves, helping them sort out their feelings, and reflect on their lives.
Journaling helps beat stress
Writing about one’s issues could make them more manageable. Keeping a journal helps your children record their life events and release the intensity of any feelings that may come up. By doing so, they can feel more calm and become better equipped to stay in the present. Journaling helps your child process negative emotions, allowing them to relax and let go while improving their overall well-being.
Over to You
Even from a young age, you can encourage kids to start building a habit of writing in a journal freely. The goal here is to help cultivate the love of personal expression. Guide them, but give them the freedom to express their interests in their own voice. That way, they are more likely to develop a fondness in expressing themselves in writing.
About the Guest Author
Alexandra Eidens is the founder of Big Life Journal, an engaging resource that helps kids develop a resilient growth mindset so they can face life’s challenges with confidence. She has always worked towards helping children express themselves better through writing. She channels her energy through her work to ensure that kids can grow up to be positive, resilient and confident; achieving success in whatever they do in life.