Click to find out more

Encouraging your kids to keep a journal

Keeping a diary is something of a dying art among the youth of today. Social media posts have largely replaced the angsty diary entries scribbled out by teenagers of times gone by. This is a great shame, as journaling can be very good for kids. Here are a few of the benefits of journaling for young people:

  • Journaling allows self-expression in a non-judgemental context. Social media posts tend to be open to peer scrutiny and judgement. Diary entries, however, can be private and free. Which is very important.

  • As a method of free expression, journaling allows children to work through their feelings and experiences, thus learning and developing from them.

  • Journaling is a way of processing and healing from negative feelings and experiences – things which aren’t uncommon during puberty! Journaling is so powerful a mental health aid that it’s commonly recommended as a form of therapy by mental health professionals.

  • Journaling helps children to develop their creative side.

  • Journaling helps children to develop their observational skills, their powers of perception, and their intuition.

  • If read back through, journaling can provide a degree of self awareness which can be very helpful both in your child’s personal development, and in their social development.

All pretty good, no? Journaling is not for everyone, and some kids may find it too much of a tiresome chore to get anything out of it, but some kids may really flourish under the influence of a journal! So how can a devoted dad ease the phone from his kids’ hands, and replace it with a pen? Here are some suggestions…

  • Provide stationary they like. More than a few people have been brought to the joys of journaling through a love of good stationary…

  • Write a journal yourself. Kids are instinctive mimics of their parents, and will often feel drawn to the things you do.

  • Don’t nag about the journal – this will turn it into a chore, which makes creative free expression (i.e. the good stuff) far less likely to occur.

  • Introduce kids to diarists or diary-form literature that they may like, or show them films in which a character prominently keeps a diary. These aren’t hard to come by – it’s a popular creative form!

  • Leave them to it. The best journaling tends to occur in solitude, and often concerns private matters. Don’t look over their shoulder, and DO NOT read their journal – unless you have very serious cause for concern!