Tuesday 17 May 2022

The Benefits of Journaling for Children

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Keeping a journal is much like writing a diary, and is more beneficial than you might think for both adults and children. This is particularly true where mental health is concerned; it can be quite therapeutic to get one’s thoughts out on a page in an organised manner. Journaling is such a simple yet effective way of providing a safe space to let out your feelings (good and bad) and since it's so simple it makes it a great option for all ages. 

An independent prep school in London have put together the following information on why journaling is so beneficial for youngsters.

Improves Language Skills

By practising their writing on a regular basis, your child will become better at spelling and grammar, while also developing their vocabulary. This will not only help them become better writers, but better communicators in general. As a result, this can also help children academically as they try out new words, grammar and way of writing and speaking in the safety of their own journal with no fear of "getting it wrong". Journaling is also unlike other writing children may do in school and therefore allows children to try a new style of writing too. 

Reduces Stress

Keeping negative emotions bottled up is never a good idea, but sometimes speaking about them is also hard too. Of course it is important to encourage your child to talk to you, or a trusted adult if something is wrong, sometimes writing it down first can help. Not only does it allow the child to immediately get any anger, frustration, sadness etc out and onto paper, but it allows them to return back to it and discuss with you when they feel ready. If your child can get their feelings out on paper, they will be able to sort through any challenging emotions, which should help to reduce stress, anxiety and even depression.

Boosts Memory

Writing a journal can be great for a child’s cognitive development and aid their working memory capacity. They must recall various descriptive words, while also connecting with their past and present experiences. All this contributes to keep the brain in tip-top shape and helps build up their ability to not only memorise things but their recall too. Having memories and past events written down can also be great for looking back on too, especially for all the lovely memories you want to treasure. Reading about it from the day it happened can bring all of those memories flooding back. 

Enhances Fine Motor Skills

Any time spent holding a pen/pencil and manipulating it across a page in a legible manner is great for strengthening a child’s fine motor skills. This is because it involves the use of the smaller muscles in their hands, fingers, and wrists. Fine motor skills are used when carrying out the most normal daily tasks, like tying shoelaces or handling cutlery, so it’s important to find ways for your child to practise using them, including writing.

Promotes Ambition

Studies have found that people are more likely to achieve their goals when these goals are written down. So, your child could use their journal as a way of planning for the future and setting aspirations. They will be able to look back over their journal and see how far they have come, which will help with their self-esteem. You could encourage them to set some different goals perhaps things like a larger goal/s for the year, then smaller ones for each month or even week. It's nice to have something to work towards and it doesn't matter how young or old you are, it always feels good to accomplish a goal you set out for yourself! 

Do you keep a diary or journal yourself and is it something you would encourage others or your own children to do too? Let me know in the comments below. 


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