Most of us have morning routines. Whether we have read-aloud time, morning work, or family work, we have a routine. Routines help our children to feel comfortable and relaxed. A journaling routine is no exception. Sure, your child can write in his or her journal whenever they want, but there are definitely some benefits to developing a journaling routine.
How To Build Good Journaling Habits
When you have habits in your life, they become so typical that you rarely even think about doing them anymore. But before you can develop that habit, you have to start with a routine.
So, let’s break down building habits into a three-step process that makes it easy to follow until we’ve internalized the new behavior and made it a true habit – something we do automatically without having to think about, like brushing our teeth.
Decide What You Want To Do
The first step is to decide what you want that new habit to be. Be as specific as possible. Don’t just say you want to start journaling in your homeschool. Instead, say something like, “We will journal for 5-10 minutes every single day.” Deciding what your new habit will be and committing to when and how you’re going to do it, is half the battle.
Set Reminders To Get It Done
The first few days should be smooth sailing. You’re motivated and excited to implement this new writing program. Sticking to the new journaling habit isn’t an issue. But a few days in, you’ll notice that it’s easy to slip back into old habits.
Your child is bored, tired, grumpy, or some other emotion. They don’t want to write, and their hand hurts. Or maybe your day is busy, and you have to skip a few things. This is when it’s important to have a daily reminder. Set an alert on your phone or add the new habit to your daily schedule. Don’t let the day get away from you without taking the time to help your child put a few thoughts to paper.
Routines Are Essential To Building Habits
Which brings us to the last step. It takes some time before a new behavior becomes a true habit. Until then, a routine will work to your best advantage. Even before the new behavior becomes automatic, a routine will help you get it done without having to spend a lot of willpower or relying on daily reminders.
The easiest way to start a journaling routine is to add it to a routine you already have in place. If your family has a morning routine that involves a time of family readings and narration, you could add time for journaling wouldn’t be a big change. Or maybe your nighttime routine consists of bathtime and read-alouds, then add writing in journals right before reading a chapter in your book.
Finding a place in your normal routine can be wherever you feel works best. Once you’ve added journaling to your routine, your children will start developing the habit of writing. And, that habit will help them to become more confident writers.
Your Child Benefits The Most With A Regular Routine
The reason so many people talk about routines is that everyone understands the importance of setting up regular routines in order to accomplish your goals. Many routines are in place to help you accomplish some type of goal in your life. You might have personal goals like wanting to start a self-care routine or get better sleep or become a healthier person.
Your children can also benefit from having a routine. When you start your child in a journaling routine, they begin to work toward becoming more proficient writers. They become comfortable writing and are no longer intimidated by the blank pages of their journal. A routine takes the fear out of sharing our thoughts and feelings on paper.
A Journaling Routine Is A Great Way To Help Your Child With Their Emotions
As a tween and teen who regularly journaled, I can attest to journaling keeping me sane during a highly emotional time in my life. The combination of teenage hormones and the stress of dealing with middle school and high school angst were alleviated by the yellow book in my backpack that I wrote all my feelings and worries.
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, journaling can help:
- Manage anxiety
- Reduce stress
- Cope with depression
- Help realize problems, fears, and concerns
When children have the opportunity to write down their thoughts, they are able to deal with big emotions. Emotions can be scary. Sharing feelings can be terrifying. Having a safe place to write about these emotions can give your children some relief from these fears.
Self-care is the buzz word of mommas everywhere. And, while I advocate self-care for all you mamas (personally I’m a fan of chocolate and a good book), your children should be taught self-care as well. Set an environment that adds peace and comfort to your child’s journaling routine. Find a comfortable place to write, light a candle, set out light snacks, or a cup of tea. Find ways to help your child practice a little self-care and, ultimately, deal with their emotions.
Hi, I’m Dachelle. I’m a homeschooling mom of 3 in the South. I love chocolate and have been known to hide it from my children. I can often be found reading a good book (or even sometimes just an okay book) and enjoying a jar of Nutella — don’t judge. I blog, here, at HideTheChocolate.com when I’m not creating book clubs and making lists…lots and lots of lists (it’s an addiction). Learn more…