"Dear Diary": 4 Benefits of Journal Writing for Kids.
Acquiring writing and communication skills is a slow, complicated process that can be frustrating for certain children. But must of all, having a safe place where you can write about your favorite thing of the day, favorite movies, or even talk about the not-so-pretty events that are part of life is comforting and often necessary for children and adults alike.
A journal entry can become a space where your children can express themselves and also develop creativity. Journaling will always be at the top of the list among the many ideas for kids to improve self-expression, thanks to the proven results it provides for our children.
Let us learn a bit more about journal writing for kids and how to encourage this activity.
When is the perfect time to start journal writing?
Of course, this is an activity more suited for middle school kids and high school teenagers, but you can start this activity as soon as your child has learned to write.
Why? Because a dairy is not only a safe space to express feelings and thoughts your children may have, but it is also a place where they can practice their writing and reading abilities.
No matter the age group, writing ideas and emotions will always be a healthy way for your child to express themselves. Of course, younger kids can find trouble starting a journal entry, and here is when creative writing prompts or fun journal writing prompts for kids can help to kickstart that self-expression path.
It helps with their academic performance.
The more your children write, implementing different writing styles, the more they will improve their writing. They will learn to answer questions by rephrasing them and to use just the right amount of information to convey their thoughts.
Furthermore, it is a good way to start practicing and improving spelling and overall grammar. Practice makes the master, so when learning to write, children can lean on journal writing as a path to self-improvement.
It teaches narrative structure and the importance of timelines.
Writing a diary is writing self-fiction and therefore presents a narrative structure. As we saw when we talked about the elements of the short story, fiction is traditionally divided into three parts:
- Plot: presentation of the characters, the context, and the problem.
- Knot: concatenation of events for the development of the story.
- Resolution/climax: This is the resolution of the conflict (if there is one since this is a journal) or a conclusion that indicates that the narrative is over.
By practicing journal writing, children are integrating these writing mechanisms.
Furthermore, journal writing teaches about the importance of a timeline to narrate events that have occurred during the day, week, and years. As you can see, a simple act such as writing can have a huge impact on our children’s capacity to express themselves both orally and in writing.
It puts thoughts in order.
Thoughts are faster than words. That is why it is so common to hear things like “I do not have the words” or “I am out of words” in daily conversations.
We cannot write like we think because it would be extremely chaotic. Rather, we need to summarise our thoughts to better express what we think. Writing organizes thoughts so the writer can understand them better.
In addition to that, writing strengthens memory. The diary becomes a depository of memories, a sort of time capsule, in which to store stories to save them from oblivion. It is a way of preserving the “first version” of events.
Writing is therapeutic.
Several studies have shown that expressive narrative writing -which is what predominates in a diary- provides benefits for the emotional and physical health of those who practice it. It allows, among other things, to better cope with painful or traumatic experiences.
A dairy can become a place where our children feel loved and safe.
Do the children in your family journal on a daily basis? What other benefits have you seen from this activity? Leave us a comment down below. We love to hear from our audience of caring parents!
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