Home » Home and Family » Parenting

Journaling for Kids: 5 Tips to Help Your Child Start a Personal Journal

Aug 17, 2007
My personal journal has long been a confidant, a creativity tool, and a way of finding clarity like no other. So as soon as my children were old enough to grip a crayon, I started encouraging them to keep their own personal journals.

How does journaling benefit a child?

Children reap the same benefits in keeping a personal journal as do adults.

At all ages, there are certain times when life feels fuzzy, and we know that it is time to get out our journal and write until things make more sense. Gaining clarity in this way can help us sort things out and determine when we need to talk things out with someone, and what precisely our needs are. In this way, journals serve as a remarkable way to enhance self esteem and to allow children to observe their lives from a new perspective.

Journals offer a safe place for children to express themselves creatively. Journals also preserve memories for posterity. They offer the most authentic evidence of their unique point of view at particular and various stages of their lives.

How can I help my child start journaling?

Here are some ideas:

1. Above all, journaling needs to be fun for kids. I find the best success when I do not offer specific prompts or writing exercises (mostly because I do not want it to feel like homework.) But if your child is stuck, start by asking them a few simple questions. What is the most exciting thing they have done in the past week, month, or year? What is the favorite part of their bedroom? Who is their best friend and why? Who is their favorite fictional character? Do they ever feel like a particular color? Why?

2. Kids need to know their journal is absolutely private and confidential. A child needs to be able to trust that parents, siblings, and friends will not peek into the journal unless specifically invited to do so.

Ask your child if there is anything in the journal he or she would like to share with anyone, but make sure your child knows that you will not be reading it. Also, let your children know that the main focus is not on writing things correctly but on expressing themselves and getting to the meat of their own thoughts.

3. Allow your children to choose their own journals and maybe a unique pen. Encourage your children to personalize the journal, too. Give them a magazine and have them cut out words and images that describe them and create a collage on the cover that is unique to them.

A personal journal does not have to be expensive. In fact, I find that I am less inhibited in my journaling if the book is a plain old notebook or composition book. If your child is more apt to draw photos than to write, consider a sketchpad instead. Some kids feel most comfortable with some notecards and a special "thought box," which can also be decorated and personalized.

4. Emphasize the fact that there is no right or wrong way to keep a personal journal. This is about letting life flow and to capture it however they like. Encourage them to incorporate notes, quotes, photos, magazine articles, memorabilia, and sketches in their journals.

5. Write in your own journal alongside your child. I am in the habit of writing in my journal each day. When you model that behavior, you will find that this is how your children use their journals as well. My daughter leaves her journal in the car so that it is readily available during her quiet downtime each day.
About the Author
Susie Cortright is the founder of several popular websites, including BestSelfHelp.com, Susies-Coupons.com and Momscape.com, where you can register to win gift cards from top online merchants.
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 342
Print Email Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources