The Incredible Benefits of Journaling for Children
There is a great deal of scientific research around the benefits of journaling and expressive writing for people of all ages. I am going to discuss the benefits of journaling, in particular, for our children.
Journaling can help process feelings that children might not otherwise be able to communicate, or choose not to communicate, with a caring adult. Journaling is a process in self-awareness, self-reflection, social growth, self-discovery and problem-solving. Journaling also has many health benefits, which I will touch on in a bit. As added bonuses, journaling benefits children in building artistic abilities, creativity, and literacy skills. Journaling is a time for self-expression and reflection, in a non-threatening, non-judgmental place.
Benefits of Journaling for Children (and adults)
Processing and Expressing Feelings. As we well know, growing up comes along with a whole lot of emotions; excitement, fear, concern, sadness, happiness, anger, calm, embarrassment, and the list goes on (and on, and on, and on). A journal is an ideal tool for any age to utilize for processing and expressing feelings, self-reflection, and problem-solving. Journaling is a great way to work through feelings using drawing and/or writing.
Communication Tool. Journals can open up a world of communication between a child and an adult. I often hear from parents and caretakers that their children have a difficult time expressing and opening up aloud about their feelings. Journals are a supportive resource for children to communicate, with drawings and/or writing, about feelings and events. Children may then choose to share with a caring adult, opening up important lines of communication. Journals are a non-judgement space for self-expression that can open up important dialogue between children and adults. This is one big “why” for creating FeelLinks Journal
Build Emotional Vocabulary. A feeling journal helps children build a broader emotional vocabulary. When children are able to identify their feelings, draw/write about them, and use tools such as FeelLinks Journal, which has “words to grow on” that teach new emotional vocabulary words– with practice, this helps children label their feelings more specifically. When our children are able to label their emotions with greater precision, adults are better able to support their needs.
Health Benefits. If your child begins journaling now, it may become a healthy habit that stays with them for life. Journaling has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety; it helps us get our feelings out, reflect, and often problem-solve. This is much better for our health than holding in our feelings and letting them fester. Often times, getting our feelings down on paper, helps us look at a situation from a new perspective and supports us in understanding it better. Journaling is a great way to regulate feelings; writing about our emotions helps us control them because we are more aware and have a better understanding of them.
Academics and Creativity. Journaling can build art skills, creativity, and writing skills. If children are drawing in their journal, they are expressing creativity and improving on their artistic abilities in a non-threatening way. This also helps improve fine motor and graphomotor skills. Your child will eventually begin labeling parts of their drawings and then begin writing in full sentences; practicing expressive writing skills, spelling, vocabulary, sentence structure, and handwriting. If children are sharing their journal entries with another person, they are practicing telling personal narrative stories and working on their communication skills.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to let your kiddos give journaling a try! The benefits are numerous (seriously, there are more than I have listed here). Just think, you could be inspiring a love for a healthy habit that holds tremendous benefits for life.
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Here is a recent favorite image of mine. Regrettably, I cannot find the name of the artist, but I wanted to share it with you, I hope it resonates with you as much as it does with me. Enjoy!