Journaling is a wonderful skill for children to develop and is much needed currently as many of our lives have been turned upside down by the current situation. Children have suddenly lost contact with friends, in some cases family, and their regular routine has vanished. Whilst they don’t always know how to express how they are feeling, there is no doubt children are struggling with the huge changes they face.
Teaching children to journal is a fantastic way to help them make sense of their inner world, and has long lasting effects in their lives as it helps them to express their emotions, while improving mental health, confidence and wellbeing.
Some of the many benefits of journaling include:
- Strengthening the immune system by reducing stress
- Learning healthy ways to release emotions
- Increasing gratitude as they write about positive things in their life
- Developing self-discipline
- Increased self-confidence as they get to know themselves better
- Creates a sense of empathy and understanding. As they see their own emotions, they begin to recognize the challenges everyone faces
- Improves writing skills and increases creativity
As well as the above, there are two more key benefits of journaling for children – mindfulness and digital wellbeing.
Mindfulness, the ability to stay in the moment, has be proven through many studies to have a positive effect on psychological and physical wellbeing. The result of mindfulness, as many of us know, is less stress, better sleep, and an increased sense of peace. The simple act of journaling is itself a mindfulness exercise as it trains the brain to focus on a particular task, writing.
In todays world children are becoming more and more distracted by screens, whether this is through games, social media, or other activities. Studies have proven that screens contribute to stress and other mental health problems. Journaling is a fantastic antidote to screen time and is also a great activity to do with our children.
Just as we would do if we were beginning our own journaling practise, guiding our children as they prepare to discover the joys of journaling is essential. Below you will find ideas and tips for getting started.
- Journals are sacred and special, so let your child choose his or her own journal. Encourage your child to decorate it with stickers, pictures from magazines, or anything else they would like to include
- Sit down with your child and talk about the journal. When I started teaching my daughter how to journal, we talked about how journaling was like starting an adventure into an unknown world – a world only they could discover.
- Consider journaling with your child. As they see you doing it, it will encourage them.
I hope you have found this post useful. If you are interested, you may like to join my facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/kidsjournalingtechniques/
It’s a space to ask questions, have access to kids journaling templates and prompts, and connect with other parents who are journaling with their children.
I hope you have fun journaling with your child/children!