Journaling for Kids and Teens
Introducing Journaling to Kids and Teens
Journaling is often seen as something for adults to do to find clarity and relieve stress, but it is just as beneficial for your kids and teens. Here are some things to know about journaling for kids and teenagers.
How Kids and Teens Can Start Journaling
Once you understand the benefits of journaling for kids and teens, it is time to figure out how to actually introduce it and add it to their routine. Luckily, this is the easy part! Here are some simple ways to get your kids and teens to start writing in a journal.
Get Them Supplies They LOVE to Use
To start with – the supplies you get for journaling is an important decision to make! Try to involve them in buying the journal, writing utensils, and other supplies. The supplies are probably going to be a little different depending on the age of your kids.
For the younger kids, lots of art supplies, pens that are easy for their hands to grasp, and a bigger space for writing is going to be better. Older kids and pre-teens often prefer something a little more simplistic, like a standard notebook or journal, with their choice of pens. Teenagers are often similar, though might prefer a journal that is more sophisticated, like a leather-bound one.
For Kids – Making it Fun Makes All the Difference
Kids want to have fun with this activity, so it’s important that you make it different than homework or other chores you require of them. Turn it into something they love to do and look forward to by making it as fun as possible.
Some kids might prefer you to join in, so you can use this time to bond with your child and write in your own journal as they write in theirs. You can give them fun writing prompts, put on some music, or decorate their journaling space. Get creative and have fun, and always involve your kids in the process.
For Teens – Focus on Creating a Tech-Free Routine
Teenagers are going to strive when they can be creative, but you also want to make this a tech-free environment. Don’t let your teenagers use their journal on their computer! Pen and paper is going to be way more beneficial for this type of practice.
Think about your teen’s daily routine and when journaling might fit in. Maybe encourage them to write in it in the morning before school, or in the afternoon after they are finished with their homework.
Provide Writing Prompts
Writing prompts are an easy way to give your kids and teens ideas of what to write about. There are prompts for different ages, which is important because younger kids won’t be able to use a writing prompt meant for a young adult.
The Importance of Positivity Mindsets with Journaling
While journaling should never have rules and always remain non-judgmental, it does help with kids and pre-teens to have more of a positive mindset. This doesn’t mean they never maintain honesty in how they are truly feeling, but end a negative thought with a positive one.
You Can Relieve Stress and Anxiety
Sometimes, when you have all those anxious thoughts and stress stuck in your head, it makes it worse. But with journaling, it is a way to get it out of your head, and release all of that tension. It becomes a way of acknowledging it, then letting it go.
This can also be another way to practice mindfulness, as they are able to just focus on what it is right in that moment, without worrying so much about the past or future. All that can be controlled is the present, so that is what they focus on when they write in their journal and in a positive way.
It is Possible to Be Positive and Honest at the Same Time
One thing people don’t understand is that a journal is just meant to write out everything bugging you, pissing you off, stressing you out, and bumming you out. But that isn’t the case. You can still have a positive mindset, while also being brutally honest in your journal.
There is a balance you want to strike here, which you can teach your kids and teens when it comes to the mindset they have about journaling. Teach them that every time they have a negative thought, it is okay to write it down, but then flip it and find something positive about it.
Positivity Encourages Creativity, Goal-Setting, and Personal Development
When kids and teens write in a more positive manner in their journal, it helps identify goals, improve their creativity, and improve their lives as a whole. The positivity mindset helps to train them to think of the bright side of things, no matter how difficult life gets. Imagine if you had this same skill when you were their age.
It is Helpful for Gratitude and Appreciation
Kids especially can benefit by being positive with expressing their gratitude in their journal. They learn rom a very young age that no matter how little you think you have, there are always amazing blessings in your life. That is important to be thankful for them each and every day.
Improving Self-Esteem and Confidence with Journaling
The reason we encourage kids and teens to write in a journal, among the many other benefits, is because it can help a lot with their confidence and self-esteem. You are probably aware of how fragile this can be in your youth, and want to help your kids grow up feeling confident as much as possible. Journaling is a wonderful way to do that.
Explore Kids’ and Teens’ Issues with Self-Esteem
The thing with low self-esteem is that most people don’t recognize it right away, especially adolescents. Your kids might not even realize they are struggling with self-confidence. This is what journaling is going to open up for them.
Just through the act of writing with openness and honesty, both kids and teenagers often discover patterns of negative self-talk. This can give them a little insight into their own self-esteem issues, and work to overcome it also with the help of the journal.
Work on Building Confidence Slowly
With confidence, it is not something you don’t have one day, and just shows up the next day. It happens slowly, over time, and with a lot of work. Luckily, there are journal prompts that can help tremendously.
Journal prompts for confidence often vary between determining a person’s confidence and self-esteem level, and trying to figure out where their mindset is. Here are a few examples:
1. How confident do you feel when you walk in a room?
2. Do you feel brave enough to talk to someone you don’t know?
3. How do you feel about yourself?
4. What are your favorite qualities about yourself?
5. What would you improve about your appearance if you could?
Using Positive Wording in the Journal
Being positive when writing in a journal can help a lot, especially when writing about ones’ self. This is a technique that does take a little practice, but you can give your kids or teens prompts that require them to do this. For example, have them write down something they don’t love about themselves, but frame it in a positive way.
If your teenager wishes they were better at math, they can either write down a list of other subjects they are really good at, or write down how can improve their math skills.
Daily Affirmations for Lifting Them Up
Try introducing the use of affirmations with your kids and teens, giving them a positive statement that makes them feel good about themselves.
I am bold, strong, and beautiful.
I can achieve anything.
I am worthy of love.
Have them choose a daily affirmation, and write it down in their journal.
Why Everyone Should Include Gratitude in Their Journal
Gratitude is the practice of recognizing and showing appreciation for the good things in your life. No matter who you are and what your life is like, there are always blessings to be grateful for. Big things, small things, and everything in between.
As you start introducing journaling to your kids and teenagers, it is helpful to show them the benefits of gratitude, and a journal is a great way to practice gratitude on a daily basis.
The Power of Gratitude
Gratitude is one of the simplest, and most powerful practices for everyone, including kids and teenagers. You gain a lot just by showing your gratitude, for people of all ages.
Expressing gratitude on a daily basis lets you see all the joys and blessings in your life, before you start writing in your journal about anything upsetting you. You are able to look objectively at your life, to see both the good and the bad. It is also really helpful in moments of stress or anxiety, where for those brief moments, you are able to look beyond it.
How to Use a Journal for Gratitude
The good news is, this is incredibly easy to do with a journal. All your kids have to do is write out a list of what they are grateful for each day. You can give them a specific topic, though it’s often easier just for them to think of something int heir life they appreciate, and write it down.
For kids who are too young to write, they can draw pictures.
Remember gratitude can be anything from eating a meal they enjoyed to having good friends. Kids and teens while think of a wide range of things they appreciate, and the more they write it down, the more things that will come to mind.
Tips for Making the Most Out of a Gratitude Practice
Want to make the most out of your gratitude practice? Here are some ways to do that, for yourself, and when teaching your kids.
Give them a specific number of things. This can help a lot when kids first start out, not knowing if they need 3 or 20. Start them with 3-5 things a day, increasing it to 10 when they feel ready.
Keep it short. Let your kids know they don’t need a long explanation, just a simple phrase that explains what they are grateful for. Have a journal just for gratitude. This is another good idea, because they know when they open up that journal or notebook, it is specifically for expressing their gratitude.
If you thought journaling is only something teens and adults could do, you’re in for a big surprise! Journaling for younger kids might look a little different, depending on their age, but they too can benefit a lot by writing in a journal. To read more about the benefits and mindfulness for younger children click HERE.