In the last post we discussed the benefits kids derive from journaling.
Here are my 7 best tips to help you:
1. Write in your journal while your kids write in theirs. It’s just another chore you’re asking them to do unless you do it with them. Pick one day a week to journal and be consistent.
2. Keep a collection of crayons, markers, pens, pencils, and stickers in a central location. Make sure these are supplies you don’t mind the kids using. Some supplies require adult supervision…
3. For younger children, let them draw or scribble. Ask open-ended questions about their drawings. Write what they say, date it and note their ages.
4. For older kids, let them write and draw whatever comes into their heads. If they get stuck, let them choose between 2-3 journal prompts and watch them take off.
5. Don’t read their journals without permission. This is how they learn to respect other’s privacy–they learn it from you. They also need to trust that their journal is a safe place to share their feelings. 99% of the time they can hardly wait to show you their stories and drawings.
6. Stock up on composition notebooks at the back-to school sales. I can usually find tons of them at Walmart and Target for 50 cents each. Don’t forget to donate school supplies to groups helping third world countries, and our own communities. Not everyone has the abundance of paper that we are blessed with.
7. Let your kids dress up their journals with covers of their own designs. Make the first page an “all-about-me” page. These two things give your kids ownership and responsibility for their own journals. Cover with clear contact paper for more durability.
Remember, letting your kids design their own journals, keeping supplies handy, and sitting down with your kids or grandkids to journal along with them are the best ways to encourage a life-long love of journaling. They will connect that special feeling with journal keeping when they become adults.