Keeping a journal or a diary is a fun way to keep track of your busy days and reminisce about them at a future date. Children these days are so busy with their curricular and extracurricular activities that they don’t have a recollection of their childhood as the days go by. Reading and writing are excellent lifelong habits as well as therapeutic outlets to a busy mind. So, teach your child the importance of keeping a journal to organize their mind and thoughts.

Here are 7 points to keep in mind as you encourage your kid to maintain a journal:

1.   Self-Expression

Encourage your kid to articulate her thoughts and put them on paper. A child’s mind works on overdrive and sometimes it processing her thoughts can be an overwhelming experience, leading to perpetual confusion. Journaling helps slowing down the thoughts and process them better, thus bringing about clarity in the child’s mind.

2.   Privacy

Assure your teenager of the privacy of his journal. Give him the space he needs and deserves as an individual, and he will thank you for it. A journal is a very personal and private artefact. Let your child treat it as such. It will also give him a core of confidence.

3.  Interest

Ask them to pick their own journal to pique their interest. It could be a journal with fancy stationery or one with their favourite football team as the theme.  Gift them a journal and a fountain pen to nurture a love for writing the old way.

4.  Gratitude

A happiness journal is a way to chronicle happy thoughts and happenings in a day. It will teach them to count their blessings which they may otherwise have missed, and be grateful for the small and simple things in life. It’s uplifting to read through the happiness journal on a gloomy day when one needs some cheering up.

5.   Artistic Expression

If your child is artistically inclined, encourage them to keep an art journal. Gift them a lovely sketch book and tell them that sky's the limit to art journaling. Art as an expression of feelings is a cathartic experience. It might be a peaceful outlet for your child to express themselves through art.

6.  Emotional Outlet

Encourage them to record their passion.  It could be cricket or football or singing. It could be photography or sketching. A journal can be the place to jot down ideas and observations, a place to chronicle achievements and milestones. It would be fun to look back at the journey while they are busy chasing their passion.

7.  Nudge Them Along

If your child is struggling to keep a journal because she doesn’t know where or how to start, get her a journal with prompts. Try the “Wreck This” journal series which brings a twist to the traditional way of keeping a journal. These journals have a prompt for each page that helps those with starting issues.

Journaling could become a lifelong habit that would see your child through their ups and downs. It will help them to focus their thoughts, refocus them when their mind is scattered. It can become their sounding board as it helps them to sort through their feelings at the end of a day. Your child will thank you for inculcating this habit in him or her!