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With all the changes in your child’s life — everything is just weird — it might be a great time to start him or her out with a journal. If you thought journaling is only something teens and adults could do, you’re in for a big surprise! While it might look a little different for kids, they can benefit a lot by writing in a journal. Here are some of those benefits.
A Safe Place for Expression
Journaling provides a safe, private, non-judgmental space for kids to write about anything they want. This includes what they are thinking or feeling. It is important that — as a parent– you allow your children’s journals to remain private and only for their eyes. Unless they ask otherwise.
While your kids probably feel safe talking to you about certain things, they also need a place that is all theirs. Where they know they won’t have a voice on the other end commenting on it. Kids can really flourish just being given a journal that is private, that you promise to never read unless they ask you to. You will be amazed by how much less stressed your kids become.
Improves Their Writing and Reading Skills
We started my now-adult son journaling when he was around four or five. While expression was important for us, the improvement in his writing skill was the main goal. We gave him a specific word count depending on his age and various writing prompts to choose from. While he complained about having to do it, he soon became adept at filling the allotted space with nicely-crafted sentences and stories that he would sometimes give to us to read.
The more your kids write and read what they write, the more these skills are going to improve! Think about all the times your children currently write or read anything. It is probably mostly for school and homework, maybe some reading on their devices or books they love. But what about writing? Kids very rarely write much aside from school work.
Journaling gives them a daily practice where they can improve their writing skills, but in a way that ends up being enjoyable for them. They answer fun questions like what their favorite animal is and if they could be any tree, what would they be? It doesn’t feel much like homework.
Kids Become More Creative
Journals have also been known to help children become more creative. Not just with the way they work out what they want to write, but in how they design their different journal pages. Kids often excel when they can use color and design on their journal pages.
You might want to try out blank journal pages without lines, so they can treat it like a doodle page. Provide crayons, colored pencils, watercolor, stencils, stickers, and different types of pens. You will be able to see where your child’s mind goes when they are using their journal.
Helps with Critical Thinking and Communication Skills
Writing in a journal can also help kids of different ages develop more critical thinking skills and even improve their communication skills. It takes a little critical thinking to answer a question asked in a writing prompt, even one that might seem simple to you. This is a wonderful skill for kids of any age to learn through journaling.
My son often talks like an attorney — we think he honed those skills from his time journaling! He continued until he was twelve or so — mainly because his classwork had increased and he was doing much more writing for school by then. We still have them as he released them to us so they will always be cherished items.
He laughs at us — he’s a teenager!
Below are some journals on Amazon that I created for kids (mostly girls — I will have to design a cover or two for boys).
I will also be publishing most posts about journaling for kids this month and next. Stay tuned!
Other Journaling Posts
- Journaling Means Something Different to Everyone
- Isolation is the Perfect Time for Journaling
- How Often to do Stream of Consciousness Journaling
- You Need Journaling Routines
Loving Life — The Reboot!