The joy of journaling

A new academic year can be a daunting experience for any child. Whether it’s moving up a year or transitioning to a new school, adjusting to the new surroundings and subjects can feel overwhelming. The hobby of journaling has been around for centuries; however it wasn’t until the 1960s when the therapeutic potential of reflective writing became public knowledge. Since then, there have been many studies that highlight the positive effects of daily journaling. It might be just what your child needs during this hectic back to school season.

Not only can journaling help handwriting, spelling and grammar skills, it can be an excellent outlet for expression, confidence and decision-making. For children who find it difficult to express their emotions verbally or can’t make decisions on the spot, a journal is a great way to learn how to emotionally process and organise the mind. Even just a small entry a day can create opportunity for reflection, which can help deal with any anxiety, stress or conflict from that day. Journaling can also allow your child to see a physical representation of their growth and productivity. What felt like the end of the world a month ago can be re-read in a journal at a later date, helping your child to gain a sense of confidence and accomplishment that they overcame such tough times.

The benefits
The best part about journaling is that there are no rules. Journal entries don’t have to be a chore of daily essay writing. They can be sporadic, filled with bullet points, quick thoughts, pictures, stickers, and anything else your child wants to add in. The journey of journaling should be fun so if your child finds writing challenging, let them express themselves on paper in a way that suits them best. Keeping a journal can also feel very personal, so knowing that the journal is a safe space for their eyes only might be the best way to allow your child to express themselves organically and gain positive results.

Keep it fun
So once you’ve got a journal, how do you get started? To stop you’re child staring blankly at you, wondering why you’ve given them extra homework today, try personalising the front cover together. Pull out the craft supplies or simply get a coloured pen and ask your child how they’d like to decorate it. This way you’ll peek their interest and get their creativity fl owing from the very beginning.

Top tips
When it comes to writing their first entry, your child may feel uninspired or unsure on what to write. Until they get into the swing of their journaling journey, try using some of our fun prompts.