Years ago people kept diaries. Diaries held our hopes, our dreams and very often our secrets. Diaries were kept hidden away and some people did not admit to having one. For some reason people seem to be more open about writing daily in a journal.
Although we don't think of children journaling, they do. Journaling starts when we are very young. The teacher tells her class that they are to draw a picture of their family. The pictures will be as different and diverse as the children and the families. Often a child is asked to tell the class about his or her picture. There may be a mommy and a daddy or whomever a particular child's family unit consists of, including the family pet.
When your little one brings home a picture of the family, take a careful look at it. Is the family happy and smiling? A picture can open your eyes to how and what your child is feeling about his family and himself. Encourage your child to write about his day and let him know that you write about yours also.
Paper journaling can be more relaxing than writing the same text online. If you are going to write in a paper journal, I offer a few tips to make it a true pleasure, even a sensual experience:
(1) Decide what you will use as your journal. It does not have to be expensive, check in school supplies for a book. Three-hole loose leaf paper will do nicely, and you can put in a binder. Keep in mind that the holes in the paper may tear so take precautions. Also, there are now bound books made specifically for use as a journal.
(2) Find a favorite spot, I have learned that a lot of women enjoy writing in their kitchens. What is your favorite spot, your place of comfort?
(3) What will you write about? write about your day, memorializing your activities and your thoughts.
(4) Don't force yourself to write in your journal. If you feel that you must write something, how about, "This is not a good day for writing...." Who knows what will happen, perhaps you will go on to explain why you don't feel like writing.
(5) Write what you want to write about and not what you think you should write about in case someone finds your journal.
(6) When one journal is full, start on the next one, be sure to date the finished journal before your put it away.
(7) Finally, indulge yourself and buy a nice holder, box or basket to hold your items. It should hold your journal, pens, pencils, etc.
Enjoy journaling and teach your children to enjoy it as well.