This year has honestly been the roughest roads most kids have encountered. Huge life changes, traditions canceled and holidays missed, kids and adults are carrying quite the load, and things can feel tough.
Our newfound sanity saver has been journal writing for our nearly 9-year-old. We have started a new morning routine that incorporates 10 minutes of journaling each day, and it has been such a mood booster. Each journal entry is different but we focus on positivity in journal writing. I searched for a few writing prompts to get her started and then she has been able to get her journal writing started each day on her own. We set up a little corner with a stress ball, colorful pens, and a brightly colored journal. We encourage writing about something positive but she is welcome to write a reflection from a tough time the day before and some days she chooses to draw a picture that makes her happy.
Each day she packs her journal in her backpack and she uses it to jot down things that make her happy or a struggle she encountered during the day. We looped her teacher in on our new tool for overcoming tough emotions and he was delighted to allow her to pull out her journal in class if it would help limit emotional outbursts or breakdowns in class. Each day when she gets in the car I ask her if she journaled that day and if there was anything she wanted to share with me. She is immediately happy to share those happy moments or pat herself on the back for finding a positive way to channel her energy when she had a rough time.
If your 7-11 year old doesn’t journal, I definitely recommend it. It has not only helped with emotional intelligence but it has been a great parent/child communication tool for us. It helps her pinpoint those tough moments at school and we can discuss the emotions related to the situation and other ways to work through those tough times.
Here are a few writing prompts that we’ve used to get those journal entries started:
- Who in your house makes you happy and why?
- Tell me about your favorite toy.
- I am thankful that I learned to _______.
- What talent do you have that you are grateful for?
- Who at school makes you happy and why?
- What is your favorite season, why do you like it so much?
- What is one thing you love about yourself? Why?
- What do you love about your parents? Have you told them this?
- I am grateful for _______.
- I smile when ___________.
We are hoping to add some joint journal writing with our four year old as well. With shared writing and drawing to help her learn how to express her feelings and communicate about her daily life.