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Journals for Children

Author: Andrea Smith

My mother wrote journals for years, in fact, on the run up to her death, she wrote in four different books on subsequent nights, to leave her legacy to her children. It can be comforting to look back over my mother’s words, even though she has now been dead for 12 years. She was a poet, a wife, a mother, a pianist, a Christian and she never once stopped worrying about and caring for her family.

I’ve read her thoughts about me when I was pregnant and she was concerned for my health and welfare; and her worries for my brother when he was visited by financial problems. It is reassuring her read her words as every prayer she made is written on each page, but this is how journals help us as adults; how would keeping a journal benefit a child?

My daughter received a very nice leather-bound spiral book for Christmas. This book is lovely with sections of lined and unlined paper so that she can add pictures if she wants. Sometimes children need something to confide in, something that isn’t going to ask questions, something that isn’t going to criticize or give them grief and a diary or journal is a very good way of getting them to air any problems they might have.

So what are the benefits of your child keeping a diary?

  1. Your child learns to think and create for themselves.
  2. It reconfirms the importance of writing and encourages your child to explore their world and think about what is important to them.
  3. They get to learn from past experiences as they can read their old journals and see what happened to help them cope with a problem they might have had.
  4. A journal is a great way for children to remember their feelings when something good happened to them.
  5. They can share their favorite jokes and memories as they happen.
  6. Writing in a journal can also help a child to analyze their own thoughts and feelings, so they can prepare for tougher situations later in life.
  7. Your child doesn’t have to write the truth in the diary; they could record dreams, hopes or stories. They can learn to be more creative by using the diary in this way.
  8. Use journal writing prompts to develop your child's writing and to inspire thoughts.

My daughter put an entry in her journal yesterday… “I found out what school I will be going to in September today, and I am so happy!” I’ll remind her of that in a few years when she has hours and hours of homework and gets no time to do any of her favorite activities or see friends.

Journals for Children

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