Diary writing is often perceived as an age-old practice—quaintly traditional, even archaic. It is typically associated with the idea of a young adult pouring out his or her heart into a hidden notebook, or a historical figure making notes that might later become invaluable to historians and biographers. However, the diary as a tool for growth, communication, and mental well-being has undiminished relevance today, and it can be especially impactful in the lives of children.
The Importance of Emotional Expression
Children are swirling cauldrons of emotions and ideas, but they may not always possess the emotional vocabulary to express what they’re feeling or thinking. Often, they may lack the perspective to understand why they feel the way they do. This creates a challenge for parents who genuinely want to be in the loop about their child’s life, particularly their experiences at school. In an age where digital communication seems to have taken precedence over face-to-face interaction, a gap is widening between what children experience and what they share with their parents. Diary writing can bridge this gap.
Cognitive and Emotional Benefits
Diary writing is a structured yet flexible method for children to articulate their thoughts and feelings. This seemingly simple act of putting pen to paper has several cognitive benefits. It fosters a habit of reflection, thereby aiding the process of emotional identification and articulation. Kids learn to identify not just what they are feeling but also why they are feeling a certain way. It’s an excellent way for them to improve their vocabulary as well as their understanding of emotional nuance.
In terms of emotional well-being, keeping a diary can be therapeutic. It’s a private space where they can vent, celebrate, or question things without fear of judgment or retribution. The act of externalizing their thoughts helps to declutter their minds, reducing stress and anxiety.
A Bridge Between Two Worlds
Parents stand to gain an immense understanding of their child’s inner world through diary writing as well. With permission, or if the child willingly shares their entries, parents can gain access to the child’s uncensored thoughts and feelings about school. This is invaluable for several reasons. First, it allows parents to spot issues they might not have known about otherwise, such as bullying, academic struggles, or emotional distress. Second, it provides an opportunity for open dialogue based on what the child has written. Asking for clarification or offering guidance on situations the child has written about can be a non-intrusive way to navigate sensitive topics.
Empowerment and Autonomy
Encouraging diary writing also has an empowering effect on children. When they realize their thoughts and feelings matter enough to be written down, it fosters a sense of self-worth. Over time, they might also develop a more robust sense of autonomy, understanding that they have a private sanctuary that is entirely under their control. This can be particularly vital for children who may otherwise feel that they have little say in their lives.
Practical Application: How to Make It Work
Implementing a diary writing habit isn’t difficult, but it requires thoughtfulness. A diary should be a space free of judgment or criticism. Let your child know that they can write freely and that you will only read it if they want to share. Provide them with a diary they would enjoy using—something that reflects their personality, perhaps with their favorite colors or characters.
Encourage but don’t push. A diary should not be an obligation but rather an outlet. You could create prompts for younger children who might be struggling with what to write about. These prompts could be related to school life, friends, or their emotions. The idea is to make the diary a regular part of their lives, but also to make it an enjoyable, stress-free activity.
Diary writing stands as an enduring, tactile testimony to a person’s life at a particular moment in time. For a child, that moment is a labyrinthine journey through new experiences, complex emotions, and evolving thoughts. For parents, the diary serves as a window into this intricate world, offering a glimpse of their child’s perspectives, joys, and challenges. In a digital age rife with ephemeral communications, the diary remains a palpable, permanent record of one’s personal history—a tool of immeasurable value for both child and parent alike.
How is Diary writing useful in the app?
The flow of writing diary in the mobile app Super Family is as follows:
- The app suggests kid how he or she feel today with an emoticon to select
- Kid clicks to choose emoticon and starting writing
- After writing, the app will ask again how she or he feel. If the emotion is still bad, the app will suggest to chat with a member family or virtual pet. The virtual pet is an AI chat bot to get your kid’s feelings to notify parents
- Super Family AI will learn to know if your kid’s feelings are negative in a long time, then notify parents about it and suggest an action.
- Kid’s diary is still private but parents will know if something bad happens to their kids.