We all want to leave our kids with the skills to follow their own path. It’s important for all of our kids to have the tools to process their emotions, solve problems, and communicate clearly their needs and ideas. Curiosity, creativity, and empathy are qualities many of us want our kids to develop.
Journaling is an activity that can help our kids learn these skills and realize the benefits. We have the opportunity to introduce our kids early in life to journaling. As they grow older, so do the options we have to develop their journaling experience. Check out another one of my blogs, 10 Tips to Spark and Develop Your Kid’s Interest in Journaling for ideas on blogging activities you can do with your kids. If you need some motivation or you are interested in understanding how journaling can help kids grow, check out my 8 benefits of journaling below.
Benefits of Journal Writing for Kids and Students
1. Journaling Can Make Writing More Enjoyable
I believe all the other benefits flow from this first one. Kids who love to journal don’t see the process as a chore, but as an opportunity. When a kid or teen establishes in themselves journaling as an intrinsic motivator, they are more likely to further develop the following benefits. As parents, we play an essential role in introducing our kids to journaling and developing their passion for it.
2. Journaling Helps Kids Process Their Feelings
As young kids who journal grow into their tween years, journaling can play an important role in learning how to process emotions. Studies show that journaling helps us process our experience when we have a safe, private, and non-judgmental space to explore our feelings. While we may want that safe space to be us, as their parents, we also need to help our kids discover the tools that work for them to find their way on their own.
3. Journaling Strengthens a Child’s Reading, Writing, Spelling, Handwriting, and Grammar Skills
This benefit may seem a bit obvious, but it’s nonetheless important. Like with any skill, the more you practice, the better you get. For reading, writing, spelling, handwriting and grammar, studies show that students who journal often score better in these four areas.
4. Journaling Develops a Child’s Curiosity
Studies show that curiosity strengthens our problem-solving skills, relationships with others, and levels of happiness and intelligence. When we journal, we create a space where it’s ok to explore new ideas and solutions to problems. Instead of reacting to what is happening in life, journaling helps us pause, think through whatever the issue is, and consider various options and consequences. Basically, when our mind is curious and active, we consciously react more, and unconsciously react less.
5. Journaling Can Boost Their Memory, Mindfulness, and Communication Skills
Studies have shown journaling helps us organize our mind. It helps us identify and analyze problems, solutions, and triggers. When we journal, we are remembering past events, thereby improving our recall. When we write down what we are feeling, we are mindful of our emotions and actions. Just like meditation, when you recognize you are thinking and let go, journaling also helps us to let go. And by getting our feelings down on paper, we are more capable of clarifying and communicating our experience to others.
6. Journaling Can Spark Creativity
When our kids journal, they are kick-starting a free association process. When we begin to free associate, jotting down thought to thought, we begin to unlock our unconscious, where creativity can grow. While solutions to problems can be discovered and perspective can be gained, keeping a journal also helps artists find images to create, and for poets, poems culled from their experience. Two of my favorite writers, Allen Ginsberg and Henry David Thoreau, vigorously journaled. Most of their poetry and prose started from their journals.
7. Journaling Teaches Empathy
As kids journal and analyze their experience, experts agree that the process helps them understand the other side of a story, a different point of view. These are the vital elements involved in developing empathy. Different types of journals, like gratitude journals or topics like compassion and kindness, can shift a kid’s self-centered perspective into a view that considers others’ experiences and feelings.
8. Journaling Improves Their Composition Skills
Journaling can have a significant impact on our kids’ ability to write. Studies have shown that kids who journal can write more persuasively, using logic, and justify their position by finding reasons for their actions. This is a vital skill for mastering the high school essay, and the type of work they will be expected to produce in college.
Now that you’ve some of the benefits of introducing and developing your kid’s interest in journaling, how do you get started? There are a wide variety of notebooks, resources, and activities on the internet to help you get started. Again, check out 10 Tips to Spark and Develop Your Kid’s Interest in Journaling for some of my favorites.
If you like the benefits but don’t currently journal, that’s ok. While I don’t think it’s necessary that you journal, also know that it’s never too late to start. In fact, it might be the perfect time. Please leave any comments, ideas, or resources below that you’ve used to introduce kids to journaling.