Why your child needs to start journaling now

Plus 12 thought starters to help inspire young writers

“Dear coronavirus: You stink. Because of you, I’m stuck at home, miss my friends, can’t play sports, and am trapped with my parents and my little brother, who is always farting.”

It seems like the pandemic will never end, and kids are likely boiling over with frustrations, questions, concerns, ideas, and stories they want to share. Journaling is a perfect outlet to express everything on their mind. “If kids can put events and observations on paper, it helps makes sense of this bewildering and frightening time,” says Melissa Hart, author of Better with Books: 500 Diverse Books to Ignite Empathy and Encourage Self-Acceptance in Tweens and Teens. “A child’s emotions seem less scary when they see them on paper.”

Even during “normal” times, journaling helps kids become more confident in their ability to express themselves and promotes writing, language, communication, and art skills. But forget the old-fashioned idea of a diary that recaps an ordinary, sometimes mundane, daily routine. “A journal lets your child articulate ideas, art, stories, and feelings,” Hart says. It can also be a collection of things the writer wants to remember, a funny conversation they overheard, something they’re curious about, or an idea for an invention.

Read This Next

Diversifying your home library can help you raise an anti-racist child
‘Tell your story’: The power of poetry to help kids cope
5 tips for raising a reader