Why should your child keep a diary or journal?
Keeping a diary or journal, especially at the moment, is a really great way for your child to record their daily life and in turn, alongside other activities, it may really benefit their mental health and allow them to express their feelings and worries. It can be a way for them to record and track aspects of their lives that they find difficult to express in other ways. Keeping a diary and journal can also have educational benefits too!
Top reasons they are good for their education:
- They can improve a child’s writing, without putting pressure on them to do it within a given timeframe. If they write their diary in their own time, and are allowed to be as creative as they like, this can often encourage them to write more often and to a better quality.
- By allowing them to choose what to write, they can become much more creative, and therefore enjoy it more. If they are not writing to a given brief given by a teacher, they may actually fall in love with writing! They can also doodle or draw as well as writing, which allows them to express themselves creatively.
- Habits can be made. Once they get into the habit of writing a diary, then it will no longer be something they dread and can build confidence in their writing and they will therefore feel motivated to do it more. And so on!
- Their handwriting is likely to improve. I don’t know about you, but I do sometimes worry about the amount of time my own children spend on tablets and computers, even in school. Sometimes handwriting can become a little forgotten about, even though it is such an essential skill. It is really good practice for them, helping them form their letters without the added pressure of the actual content being right!
As well as being really good for their education, keeping a diary can be great for their mental health too. With mental health issues on the rise in children during these very trying times, they need to learn how to express their emotions. Keeping a diary can help them to learn this really important life skill. They can process thoughts, feelings, future goals and aspirations.
Some really good tools for this are bullet journals. Health and wellbeing bullet journals allow children to organise, record and track all aspects of their life. They could do them for routines, healthy eating and exercise, sleep and moods. Twinkl have some really good bullet journals on their website that can be printed off here.
So how can you encourage your child to write a diary or keep a journal?
- Buy them a special diary!
- Get them some nice new stationary to use such as coloured pens, stickers or stamps.
- Try out different ones. A written diary might not be right for them at the moment, maybe the bullet journals are the right thing.
- Don’t pressure them to keep it up every day. Sometimes just thinking about what they would put in the diary or journal can be enough for them to express the feelings they are bottling up.
So why not give it a go and see how your child gets on? Don’t forget I also have a wide range of mental health and wellbeing cards, which can be used in conjunction with the above to help with your children’s (and own!) mental health and wellbeing.