Planning for the Future: Using Journals to Help Kids Set Goals and Define Dreams
Whether your kids are looking ahead to high school, college, or potential career paths, it’s never too early to start thinking about the future. Journaling is one of the best ways to help kids plan ahead, as the practice offers a way to record thoughts, emotions, ideas, and plans.
By answering a daily prompt or engaging in regular free-writing, kids will become more comfortable expressing their thoughts and communicating their feelings. Check out a few of the other ways that journaling helps kids figure out what they really want in life.
Journaling Help Kids Set Goals and Define Dreams
1. Creates a Safe Place for Exploration
A child’s journal is his or her private space—a place to record thoughts without fear of judgment or repercussions. It’s important to ensure children privacy with their journals so that they can safely and comfortably explore their thoughts. While kids might not always feel comfortable discussing their dreams in front of others, there is no need for embarrassment or fear in the process of writing a journal. This allows kids to think about the many potential paths that lie ahead and to consider each as an equal opportunity. Writing is a place for imagination and possibility.
2. Offers a Chance for Reflection
Kids live in a busy world today. Between school, homework, sporting practices, and music lessons, it’s easy for them to keep moving on to the next activity without ever pausing to make sure that they are on the right track. Journaling offers kids a chance to slow down and reflect on their lives and the decisions they’re making. By taking a closer look at their feelings and thoughts, kids can become more attuned to the elements of life that are most important to them.
3. Provides Consistency
In addition to providing kids with an opportunity to reflect, journaling also offers consistency and gives stability to their daily routines. Though kids face uncertainty and stress from multiple sources each day, journaling offers a regular respite from life’s demands. If you’re trying to help kids shape a responsible daily routine, try incorporating journaling as a morning or evening activity where kids can set an intention for the day or reflect on their experiences.
4. Helps to Clarify Emotions
Adolescence is a difficult time, filled with conflicting emotions and roller-coasters of feelings. All too often, kids might not even be aware of the sources of their feelings or the particular emotions they experience. Journaling helps kids clarify these feelings. As kids write about their experiences, reactions, and emotions, they can make sense of life and develop a greater understanding of themselves.
5. Improves Communication Skills
Wherever your kids go in life, they’ll benefit greatly if they are skilled at communicating. Journaling improves general reading and writing skills and helps kids learn how to describe things specifically. When kids write, they become more comfortable expressing their own impressions and they learn how to articulate meaning better. Whether your child ends up working as a dental hygienist, an accounting specialist, or a songwriter, he or she will benefit greatly from years spent working on communication skills in journals!
Until next time, journal on…