I love summer. The days are long, and time feels to slow down. For me, it’s a great time to tap into my creativity. What have I been putting off? What is bubbling up? What do I want to develop? In the same vein, I take time to review my goals and reflect on whether I’m working towards them or away from them – maybe it’s time to change one all together. In general, the slower days of summer is a perfect time to check-in on my overall well-being. One of my favorite methods for delving into all of the above is journaling – an age-old practice of recording thoughts, feelings, and ideas on paper.
Naturally, it’s a practice I encourage children and their parents to engage in too. Whether you’re a journaling novice or getting back into the swing of it, here are a few tips.
1. Start Simple: Don't pressure yourself or your child to write pages and pages from the get-go. A sentence or two reflecting on a specific part of the day or the book can be enough.
2. Ask Questions: Prompts such as, "What's in my heart today?" or "What made me happy today?" can help guide your writing and make journaling a more reflective and insightful process.
3. Let Creativity Flow: Encourage drawings, doodles, or even poetic verses into your journal entries. There's no strict rulebook for journaling, and every entry doesn't have to be strictly text-based.
4. Consistency is Key: A little bit of journaling each day can go a long way. Make it a daily habit, like brushing your teeth or reading a bedtime story. Overtime you’ll be amazed by how you feel afterwards, and the insights you have!
If you’re unsure how to introduce the topic of journaling to your children, here’s one activity to get you started. I call it the Drip, Drop and Drizzle method:
Drip: Read a story. What is one small idea or thought that emerged while reading?
Drop: Take one action towards that idea. Draw it out and then write a
sentence or two that explains the drawing. Or discuss the concept with your
child, and together write a short summary of your discussion. If you’re
feeling bold, write a poem!
Drizzle: Repeat this practice consistently to create a habit. This not only deepens the understanding of the story you read, but also fosters analytical thinking and a way of applying that thinking creatively. Soon you can follow the same process without needing the story first.
Incorporating journaling into your summer can be a transformative experience. Not only does it create a deeper connection with the books you read, but it also fosters a healthy habit of reflection, creativity, and self- awareness. Happy writing!