Encouraging Your Child To Keep A Diary

A diary represents a private space in life, a beautiful solitude, the moments before we go to sleep just to stop and note what there is about the day or about life at the time. It’s like a friend that is always there and is always a comfort. In bad moments I write, and usually end up feeling better. It reflects back to me things that I can learn about my world and myself.

A diary is also a tool for self-discovery, an aid to concentration, a mirror for the soul, a place to generate and capture ideas, a safety avenue for the emotions, a training ground for the writer, and a good friend and confidante.

The benefits of writing and keeping a journal

The first and obvious use of writing a diary is that it helps us to remember something later… a reference to look back on. It may be that we do not have time to work out what is going on right at that very minute – keeping a note in a diary helps us to recapture the moment later so that we may look at it more deeply. It may also be that we need to remember to do something e.g. write a letter on behalf of someone we are working with. We jot the task down – and then when we have time we can look back at our diary or organizer and pick out the tasks we are left with.  Second, the act of putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) engages our brains. To write, we have to think. By keeping records, one is able to monitor the practice. Journal writing encourages engagement and reflection.

Third, it isn’t just that writing a journal stimulates thought – it allows us to look at ourselves, our feelings, and our actions in a different way. By writing things down in a journal the words are now ‘outside’ of us. They are there in black and white on the paper or on the screen. We can almost come to look at them as strangers – ‘Did I really think that?’, ‘How does this fit with that?’ In other words, our words may become more concrete – and in this way we can play with them, look at them in another light.

Fourth, writing things down in a journal also allows us to ‘clear our minds’. Having made a note of something we can put them on one side for consideration or action at a later point. We can only handle so much at any one moment. Trying remember this or that, and deal with current situations, can sometimes mean that we are not focusing on what we need to. The journal offers a way to sort out the multitude of demands and interactions and to highlight the most important ones’.

Last, and certainly not least, making journal writing part of our routine means that we do actually take time out to reflect on what might be happening in our practice and in our lives generally.

From this we can see that writing and keeping a diary holds the possibility of deepening our self-understanding, and to making added sense of our lives and what we believe. It can also help us to entertain, contain and channel troubling emotions and gain perspective. We may also develop a greater awareness of daily life; become more alive to what is happening to, and around, us in the daily round. At a practical level, writing and keeping a journal can both help us with administrative tasks (like reporting what happened, when and why) and with the process of setting goals and managing our time and priorities. ~ Mark Smith

There are many ways to write a journal or a diary these days.

  • Traditional diaries : ring bind books or notebooks
  • Creative diaries : loose leaf paper within ring binders, beautiful textured & recycled paper, scrapbooking
  • Quick diaries : Organizers, Planners
  • Using a word processor
  • Handphones / PDA’s
  • Blogging

I personally prefer the traditional diaries for my daily thoughts. There’s a feeling of permanence… something very real and very concrete. Something that i can show and share to my girls when they’re all grown up… something that reflects a history of my life, written over a period of time, which awaits a quieter time in life for fulfillment.

Everything Mark states in his research are those that i agree with.  I started very young with the influence from daddie. He writes everything in his diary. A teacher of mine used to keep ‘a black diary’ for all the naughty names he said… which i never believed.  For all the reasons and benefits in putting our thoughts on paper, I have made this daily record keeping a daily routine… yes, it is a discipline for young children. Best started from young, when they are able to write…

I started out by getting my girls a nice diary the like, be it in a favourite cartoon character or just a nice pink one… Rolling Eyes (girls!)

She was into Kung Fu Panda phase then… so she requested this. Laughing

Then, i start by asking them to think about the stuff that happened throughout the day. Kiddies dun just naturally have something to think or something to write, so hafta prompt for a start. Both my girls started keeping a diary of their own in N2. Very Happy

Diary starters, can be about what they learnt in school… about a new friend… about how they felt for the day… about anything interesting that may have happened that day (etc)… It’s exactly like relating in a story they bring back to "share/tell-all-about-it" after school but only now to put it in print.

It can be the simplest stuff coming out from them… It’s non-judgmental. Heck, it doesn’t even have to turn out grammatically accurate or have 100% correct words spelt. I award them for effort. And not award them in physical sense, like rewards of any kind but only in encouragement sense. This is to allow for them to learn to enjoy writing from their hearts… a personal achievement/fulfillment.

It’s a start, like this one from my younger girl…

  

Then, she began writing other things apart from PE and i love my mummy just like this page… 

After she barely finished the Kung Fu Panda book, she shifted her interest to pink stuff… which was this Sweety notebook…

By this phase, her writing process has matured. I instilled the practice of having a proper spacing, leaving a line and she asked if she could draw at the end of her input for each day to end the diary page… so of course it was cool with me! So you see, now she wants to do something in her diary out of her own free will, which was an additional task on top of the writing. Wink

 

She can also remember the songs for the days of the week, so i get her to write it out. At this stage, i drummed in the month of the year intro to her too! Her teacher usually only writes the dates in numbers ie:10-07-09.

When she relates her story to me with onomatopeiac sounds, i told her that these sounds can be put into words as well.. this can be guided with Phonics.

After she finished and we read it thru together, she agreed with me that it made her diary input that day more interesting… Wink She grew to love writing it enough to put in emotions in her journal.

From the time she took a first peek at her jie-jie’s Geronimo Stilton story books, she got inspired to write her adjectives in a more pop-out fashion, like in the word FUN here in this page…

Soon enough, she diverted her attention to Barbie… following the ever changing trend of growing girls like jie-jie.. Wink

By Barbie phase, she is already able to churn out the ideas on her own without much/any prompting. She can also finish the daily diary on her own with exceptions to the times she may shout out some help needed for spelling the words properly instead of just guessing them. During this phase, she is also exposed to margin… a P1 prep. Hee! Very Happy

My younger girl is now in K2 and with this diary writing discipline, i’m hoping it will help her with the start to early writing which she will have to do next year in Primary 1. I also introduce the parts of speech plus simple grammar rules to aid her in good writing skills. My elder daughter writes flowingly now and doesn’t require assistance. Both of them are also old enough to be able to enjoy reading through the stuff they have wrote in their diaries for the past years, they’ll laugh about it together and will reminisce the moments they revisit in their diary pages. It may not be much now. But like what sashimi likes to say, "….. and at the end of it all, there’s a souvenir for keeps….."

This is one kind of souvenir for me to cherish those times when they were then… mummy’s little girls… Love

Wat age best?

Buds jie.. so at what age is the best to start them off writing diary?

My Best Friend... The Diary...

Quote sunset_dae, "This article is indeed inspiring.
Keeping a diary enables one to also pour out their woes especially when parents are working and children has nobody to confide to. Its definetely better than keeping it in the heart. I shall get a diary for my son when he can writes!"

I was going through my blogs and just saw this. Thank you sunset_dae for your thoughts. I used my diaries back then to write everything! Yes, everything.. I didn’t have a sister cos i was the only girl in the family, wasn’t close to mumsie and had a million things i wished i could tell her but couldn’t. She was more the authoritative figure kinda mommy than a let me get to know my daughter kinda mommy. Yes, i understand what you mentioned above as it was better for me that i didn’t have to keep it in my heart. My diary was my then best friend. I can offload everything off my chest and feel a little bit better. *hugs* Hope things are going on nicely for you and your family, sunset_dae. Cheerios.

This article isĀ indeed

This article is indeed inspiring
Keeping a diary enables one to also pour out their woes especially when parents are working and children has nobody to confide to. Its definetely better than keeping it in the heart. I shall get a diary for my son when he can writes!

FTWM & SAHM

Hi Winth,

i hv the exact same feeling as u 

I m kind of envious how much things / activities a SAHM can do.. but of course SAHM also has their constraints and problems. Financial is one big aspect that has to be considered.

i am also thinking where to find the time to include this diary writing activity on top of the already long list of activities tat we have to do once we reach home in the evening.. dinner, bathe, read, write, play, … really trying to squeeze as much as i can into tat 2-3 hrs in the evning… mayb tat y i always feel like my real work starts once i reach home… oops!

 

Dearest, Poohbear…

 

Envious? Don’t be, k. I’m sure there’s something i’d be envious about you

too if you wud only care to share/tell. Hehehee!    Though financial aspect

isn’t that much of an issue for me as SAHM, not that buds hubs is rich or anything….

but we or rather HE; makes enough… to spend enough… for home & those special

family outings outside together. He also has enough to spend on his own stuff

that he ‘needs’       and ‘wants’   … too!  

 

But when i first stayed home full-time, i really tightened the belt when it comes to wants.

Needs are mostly well-catered for by buds hubs.      Never went hungry. Never went

thirsty… always enough coke (coca-cola) everytime. Hehee.. And enough clothes

to wear…. never had to be naked or use leaves. Wuahahahahahaa! In short, within means

lah.. that’s all. But life improved every year, thank God for that and also a lotta hard work

buds hubs put into his career to move up the corporate ladder. So in return for the hard

work he put in with everything for us and the house and the parents and siblings, i put

in the hard work of raising and educating our girls, trying not to be too much of a

burden to him. So, thankfully…. i was the independent kinda gal. Don’t need a man

for every single thing i do…. with the exception of love-making of course.   That one

reali bo-pian.

 

When i was still working full-time, both of us made sure we alternately spent time with

our daughter. We’ll swap roles/duties when we are back home and ensure each of us

had one-on-one time with her and also before sleeping time, spend time together. I do

remember though he reali dreads the story times. Cause most times, he wud be the 1st

to fall asleep before the baby does! He says i tell it so well, it even makes HIM go to sleep..

what more the baby! He says sometimes his eyes cannot tahan when actually he wanted

to catch up with me on my day… or mebbe just indulge in some cuddling and TV or even

late nite action (which was very few back then, cos too tired with work and bb).

 

So, the story time was just a bummer for him. Ahahakz!

 

 bÜds

Mothers of all kinds

Sometimes it makes me wonder if I should turn into a SAHM or a forever work-at-home-mum for my boys.  They seem to be savoring every minute of their children’s growing up phase.

Winth sweetie… it is also important for mothers to find life out of their children’s life or married life for that matter. Each kind of mother definitely has their form of sacrifices unknown to another unless one has been through the phase.

Let’s dig into it for the fun of it, aye!

I DID say FUN, harr… So nobody stone me hor..

  Hmmm… let’s see now.

1. FTWM > Full time mothers may or may not have a choice in upholding such a position. Some truly need the dual income lifestyle….. or forced by the husband to go out to work. Some others for the career woman in them. A handful others probably cause they have a choice to work with an alternative full-time caregiver or helper.

2 scenarios.

First scenario – A FTWM who devotes any spare time to ensure she can spend time with the children without fail. Still takes the trouble to teach what she can during the crucial quality time. Never forgets a bedtime story. Usually falls asleep after story or during story.. Or sometimes falls asleep in children’s bed instead of their own.

Second scenario – A FTWM who just wants to put her feet up after work and honestly hopes the children are fast asleep. Work so hard, send to best childcare oredi wat? Some more must teach after work ah? Wah-seh… Buey-sai leh… Need to unwind.

2. PTWM > Ideal for mothers who can find work while child is at school or with a caregiver. May need the extra moo-lah ie.$$$. to support the family with household exenses or with CPF contribution for monthly-housing installments… Or the kinda mummy who may not need the money really, but does enjoy the short hours being in a social circle apart from being around children… one reali needs to get out of the "children-vocabulary-only" period after a while… hehee..

2 scenarios.

First scenario – A PTWM who rushes back to be with her children to spend time together playing or learning. Also need to catch up with housework when children take a nap.

Second scenario – A PTWM who doesn’t rush back after work. Dabbles in some tad-bit shopping after work or indulges in a short movie or even some girls afternoon out-time. After come back oso child sleeping what? Got child-minder, no issue. Or if in childcare… just say cannot knock off yet lor..

3. SAHM > The stay-home mum is usually the most tricky to decipher. Why? Read on…..

i. Can be a case of husband don’t allow wife to work situation… a few of the friends i know gotta pre-confirm this arrangement prior to the official tying of the knot. And that’s one tight knot too, i must add..

ii. Can be a case of a lazy mum, who "already have husband to "yang-wo, maa…" So, yah. Why work kinda situation..

iii. Can also be a case of a sickly or special child to-tend-to situation, where a mother is thee only person who can be there for the child. This is also including mums/wives who have to care for; elderly parents, grandparents and mebbe out-laws… ehem… cough… cough… ermm, a million apologies… in-laws i meant..

iv. Can also be the nurturing kind, who believes… Tis only moi who can teach thy own.

Too many scenarios.

– SAHM who goes berserk within the  walls everyday. Like prison… no chance to go anywhere.Very stressed. Everyday… everwhere… everytime oso with the children. Very stressed.

– SAHM who is very ONZ every waking hour must do something with children. With all the children. Housework can wait.

– SAHM who is very ONZ, must do something with children when they’re awake. Do housework when children are sleeping. Cooking all done by the time husband comes back.

– SAHM who is very troubled, too many things (housework, cooking… (etc) to do… not enough time to do, some more must jaga children… some more must teach… some more must….. aiyah… so many things, so little time… no time for own time oso.

-SAHM who is first-timer… how to cook then see baby aah… how to teach ah? Teach what actually hor? Can don’t do certain things anot, uh?

– SAHM who just…. zzzzzzzz…. haiyah, all children in school mah. Rilek lar.. Eat in school some more… then got CCA… husband oso always come back late, don’t need dinner one..

– SAHM who has to do as they’re told under watchful in-laws eyes.. READ > Told to do.

And SAHM’s also can fall in different financial categories.

i. Has rich husband.

ii. Has super rich husband.

iii. Has dead husband…. with assets aplenty.

iv. Has husband who makes enough for the family and allows wife to stay home if she wants.

v. Has husband who makes enough for the family and allows wife to stay home if she’s lazy to work.

vi. Has husband who makes enough for the family and allows wife to stay home to care for the children.

Has husband who barely makes enough but believes a wife’s place is at home with her children.

And the list goes on…

*** Winth… SAHM also must savour all the noise from the children 24-7… not easy oso. Ahakz! Got chance to work, just work, darling… Just do what you can with what much $$$ you have… to do what much you know… with what much your children want to do with you… love to do with you… and CAN do with you.

Take heart fellow mothers, that whichever categories we belong to in certain phases of our mother-ly lives, know that if we have really tried our best……. our best should be good enough… likewise for our children. Their best should be good enough for us.

 bÜds

wow! your girl start to

wow! your girl start to write @n2!

I’d better start now…looking for more tips.

SO TOUCHED!!

 Thank you for your comments buds.

You’ve made my day. I will return the favour tonight.

Cheers!

Writing a journal or diary

Writing a journal or diary works hand in hand with encouraging/motivating

your child good saving & spending habits..

buds & I will take turns going through their diary to see what they did

for the day & what they spent their pocket money on for that day….

Cheers!

Parental Support

I’m happy to note that buds hubs has been supporting me with this

daily diary writing tracking and it means in the event that i am busy

clearing up the kitchen or i am not around, it has become automatic

for him to ask them for their diaries to be checked if it has been done.

He will help them with their diaries as well. He now knows how i

usually keep up with their diaries and follows the same practice.

This way, our girls do not get confused no matter who helps them

with their journalling. It will be the same style…

 

This was made possible AFTER the results had been shown and

proven to be effective for writing practice and in the jie-jie’s case

with the pocket money recording. That’s when buds hubs realised

mummy’s effort. Better something than nothing, right… Late support

is waaayyy better than no support…

 

To buds hubs :

"I appreaciate all the support with you having a hand at being there

for the kiddies. Just like how i was raised by a very involved daddy,

i am very happy that YOU ARE the involved daddy for our 2 girls…

From the bottom of my heart, thank you, darling… The girls will

become more confident individuals with a father figure in their

growing years…"

 bÜds

Not that easy...

Not that easy to borg buds lah! Ya know me, winth!

It takes more than methanus fart to bring down buds!

Wuahahahahaa! There may be "challenges" along

the way, like dying-chokey-feeling… cos hard to breathe

due to attacks from all these terminators, but i’ll live. At

the most, the body just needs upgrade lor.

 bÜds

Hee... Welcome back!

Was worried that you got borg-ed or something.

Thanks.

You’ve always provided great tips and ideas and looking forward to your posts.

Get the perfect diary

This article seem to be just the perfect answer. It is perfect for training writing skills and also bonding with the kids. Also, it allows the parents to hv a better understanding of what the kids are thinking of / worries / concerns.

I am super encouraged to start. However, i really do not know how to start and i really hope to start the right way, lest i kill the kid’s interest before we actually start.

So Buds, hope you can share a bit more on how to start / how to guide them to get started and how to encourage them along the way so that it is more a fun activity rather than another piece of homework.

Thanks for the v inspirational headstart 

 

Thanks Poohbear! You made my day too!

I’m all pumped now with you guys getting all excited! I’m lovin’ it!

Yes, start the right way… just start by getting a diary that you KNOW

child will love you for. The interest has to be generated from us first

as parents. A child is not easily coaxed to do work for no reason

rite? Till today, there will be occassions where i hafta to remind &

insist that my girls get their journals done. On some days, it’s all

done and they will both come to me and ask me to proofread their

inputs. So, it reali depends..

It not only has to "seem" fun (instead of more work), but it has to

be something interesting. Kiddies love to talk. They talk about

friends, school, TV programmes, (etc). Start with this. Tell them

excitedly how you love hearing all these stories. It’s like they’re

telling you a story of their life each growing day. It would be great

if it can be put down in a book… a personal book. A book about

YOU. Like an autobiography… So, when you’re older… you can

look back to all the fun things you did as a kid, all the friends who

played with you when you were younger, the baby teeth you dropped,

the times you cried… felt happy or sad… (etc). If you have a diary too,

you may wanna show your child your copy. Mine cannot! Too explicit

details – Rated R21!

Poohbear… i’ll share more and in further detail how you can adopt

this writing habit with your child (together)… in the forum thread, okie?

See ya there!

Cheerios!

 bÜds

Thanks, winth!

Great Idea there!

Wow…

I’ll be buying diary for my little boy today after our lunch later at New York New York!

You’ve always inspired, buds! Cheerio 

 

> Thanks for this, winth! You’ve made my day!

 

 bÜds

Going thru on a daily basis?

More specifically:

1) Going through what they have written or sitting down with them to write it down?

2) Do you give them ideas on how to start on their diary? (during the initial part)

3) Do you help them when they ask about spelling or you allow them to spell ‘creatively’?

Same Feeling

Hi Winth,

i hv the exact same feeling as u 

I m kind of envious how much things / activities a SAHM can do.. but of course SAHM also has their constraints and problems. Financial is one big aspect that has to be considered.

i am also thinking where to find the time to include this diary writing activity on top of the already long list of activities tat we have to do once we reach home in the evening.. dinner, bathe, read, write, play, … really trying to squeeze as much as i can into tat 2-3 hrs in the evning… mayb tat y i always feel like my real work starts once i reach home… oops!

Hi Poohbear, Had the same

Hi Poohbear,

Had the same concern as you too.

Asked a couple of questions in the forum thread provided.

Hopefully buds see them and reply.

I’m intending to start on my boy’s diary tonight.

Sometimes it makes me wonder if I should turn into a SAHM or a forever work-at-home-mum for my boys.  They seem to be savoring every minute of their children’s growing up phase.

Very Encouraging

This article couldnt hv been more timely… i was just pondering over the past few days how to teach writing to my gal who is in K1 now… thot of sending her for some creative writing class.. But again, not sure which one and $$ is also another concern.

This article seem to be just the perfect answer. It is perfect for training writing skills and also bonding with the kids. Also, it allows the parents to hv a better understanding of what the kids are thinking of / worries / concerns.

I am super encouraged to start. However, i really do not know how to start and i really hope to start the right way, lest i kill the kid’s interest before we actually start.

So Buds, hope you can share a bit more on how to start / how to guide them to get started and how to encourage them along the way so that it is more a fun activity rather than another piece of homework.

Thanks for the v inspirational headstart 

Great Idea there!

Wow…

I’ll be buying diary for my little boy today after our lunch later at New York New York!

You’ve always inspired, buds! Cheerio 

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