CHILDREN WHO JOURNAL: HELPING THEMSELVES IN SCHOOL & HEALTH

By Joanna Tebbs Young

On the pages of a fat, 3-subject notebook I recorded my loves, my losses, my fears, and my (many) mortifications. Every year from age 13 until I began college I reported the details of my daily life, which to my adult eyes could seem so trivial and silly.  

But I know now that those daily scribbles served as a life-line at a tumultuous time of my life. I know from my research into women's development that it was what allowed me to hang onto my voice – my sense of self – as I was learning who I was and who I wanted to become. At a time when I most needed someone to talk to, my journal was my therapist and friend.

In school, I was a hardworking and high-achieving student, who loved to write research papers. And despite high test-anxiety on such standardized tests as SATS, on lower-stress tests I was able to recall retained knowledge fairly well. And in college I was an honor student.

I can't say whether it was my daily journaling that helped me academically, but research indicates that it most likely did. I know for a fact it helped me through grad school–without it I wouldn't be where I am today.

Academic

[Journaling] makes learning more concrete, personal, and alive. – Lucia Capacchione, The Creative Journal for Children

It has been found by both psychologists and teachers that children who journal have a higher success rate in school. Among the findings of the benefits for students are:

·       Improved grades

·       Lower pre-exam anxiety

·       Increased cognitive function

·       Higher problem-solving and decision-making skills

·       Expanded memory

·       Positive social-emotional development

·       Helps those with behavior problems or learning disabilities

Students tend to score higher grades when they first record their feelings about an upcoming exam or school project. It is believed that journaling allows children to gain understanding of their own particular learning style and thought patterns. This would explain why those who journal are able to enhance their own learning experience by giving it personal meaning.

Heightened self-awareness also allows for empathy for, and understanding of, their peers and the self-confidence to speak out on their (and their own) behalf. This allows for an improvement in group dynamics within a school setting.

Teachers who use journals as a classroom tool can be extremely creative with this flexible tool. Both writing and art can be used (some methods and prompts will posted at a later date), and traditional pen-on-paper journals or computerized ones are equally beneficial. Parents should also encourage their children (starting as soon as they can hold a pencil) to journal outside of the classroom as a way to process their thoughts and feelings about their home, school, and inner life. Privacy of these writings is imperative, however!

Therapeutic

Providing our children a place and permission to express themselves is one the greatest gifts we can bestow. Help them open a door into themselves. – Lucia Capacchione, The Creative Journal for Children

Children who express, explore and evaluate their thoughts and feelings have a self-awareness that encourages problem-solving and decision-making in a direction of positive change. When a child is aware of his or her own strengths, weaknesses, beliefs and values, he or she can identify and achieve goals and work through problems and their solutions.

Journaling helps children become self-actualized. Ira Progoff, founder of the Intensive Journal Method and author of At a Journal Workshop, believed that when you can identify your own resources – your own inner strengths – you can use them to proceed towards wholeness. By recording their life and their reaction to it, children learn who they are and what they want. Instead of thrashing around in a forest of fear and vulnerability, this knowledge gives them a clearer path on which to travel. Especially in trying times.

Lucia Capacchione, among many others (Kathleen Adams and Julia Cameron are just a couple), calls the journal a friend. It serves as a non-judgmental confidant during difficulty. It is always available day or night and listens to anything and all you have to say. For a child who may be feeling unnoticed and unimportant in an adult world, this is so vital to their sense of self-worth.

According to Luciano L'Abate journaling also helps develop coping and problem-solving skills and promote self-growth. As an adjunct to therapy, journaling has been found to enhance, prepare for, and clarify talk therapy and allow the client to obtain a better understanding of his own beliefs and of personal behaviors. Writing "I…" in a journal promotes personal responsibility and involvement in the healing process. It has been found through various studies, one in particular by Dr. James Pennebaker, that the actual act of putting an experience or memory into words changes the way the brain processes the information, allowing healing to begin. Dr. Pennebaker recorded statistical differences in the mental/emotional health of students who had written expressively and those who had not.

Introduce your child to a new friend, one who loves and listens unconditionally. Encourage them to express what's inside – whatever is inside. Together, your child and her journal will navigate the sometimes choppy passage of childhood and adolescence and come out the other side a stronger, more confident and emotionally stable adult.

 

References

Capacchione, Lucia. (1982). The Creative Journal for Children: A Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Counselors. 

Zyromski, B. (2007). Journaling: An underutilized school counseling tool. The Journal of School Counseling, 5, Retrieved from http://www.jsc.montana.edu/articles/v5n9.pdf

 

Joanna Tebbs Young, MA-TLA is a writing and creativity facilitator, certified instructor through the Center for Journal Therapy, and freelance columnist living in Vermont. Her blog and workshop info can be found at her website, wisdomwithinink.com.

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CHILDREN WHO JOURNAL: HANGING ONTO THEIR INNER RESOURCES

 

By Joanna Tebbs Young

The journal is a place to nurture what is best within the self, and I think children understand that. — Lucia Capacchione, The Creative Journal for Children My daughter, who is eleven, has already managed to accumulate a pretty impressive collection of journals. While the explosion she calls a bedroom obviously doesn’t reflect the tidy genes I passed on, her love of paper and pens and writing does. Although many of the pages are filled with the inked characters that spring from her imagination, as her writing abilities grew, so did the number of written pages. And on those occasions when she comes home from school fighting tears of hurt or frustration, I send her to her journal. This tends to calm the emotional-fireworks enough for a more rational, productive, and pro-active conversation.

Journaling is an extremely flexible and beneficial method for children to explore their creativity, express their emotions, and discover their own inner resources.There are so many reasons why it is a great idea for children – even pre-writers – to keep a journal. Whether it is pages of healthy scribbling, a self-portrait in thick crayon, a retelling of an experience, or a complex fantasy story featuring themselves in the lead role, any self-expression has been proven to improve both physical and mental health. For example, the very act of writing down emotions has been found to promote healing, regulate emotional extremes, and reduce anxiety (resulting in less illness and missed days of school).

Lucia Capacchione, founder of the Creative Journal Method and Inner Child work, lists in her book, The Creative Journal for Children the many benefits of journaling for children:

• The privacy* of a journal with its freedom from judgment or failure: 

• The writing and drawing practice — verbal and nonverbal expression: 

• The emotional release which comes through the writing and/or drawing allows for:

o Fosters feelings of safety and relaxation 

o Encourages self-honesty and spontaneity

o Cultivates a child’s innate creativity and imagination

o Encourages and enhances communication and brainstorming skills 

o Develops and integrate both right and left brain functioning

o Acceptance of feelings; self-understanding

o Self-Confidence

o Self-Discovery (of own beliefs, desires, and talents)

But above all, teaching them at a young age to express their feelings in a healthy manner provides them with the skills to not only be aware of their various emotions, but to not be afraid of them. In general, our culture teaches us to suppress our “negative” emotions and intuition at an early age (and in some cases, due to family dynamics, religious/social teachings, and/or trauma, this suppression can be exacerbated to the point of emotional numbness), and re-connecting to this vital, message-giving internal language can be extremely different as an adult. We want to give our children a defense against this unfortunate human habit. Learning from the get-go that emotions are neither good nor bad but rather just messages that can and should be expressed in a safe place, your child will have a leg-up on developing into an emotionally mature adult. 

*Privacy: PLEASE respect the privacy of your child’s — especially your pre-teen/teen’s — journal. I have heard from many an adult who can no longer write down their own feelings and/or secrets, or write at all, for that matter, because their trust was broken once upon a time by a snooping parent, sibling, or friend.

 
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Tell Your Story on Intention Radio by Lisa L. Kirchner

The-Courage-to-ChangeIn 2006 my husband ended our seven-year partnership over the phone. From another country. We'd been living in Qatar, where I remained for another year, too flattened to move forward, but well aware I had to. For one thing, in that conservative Muslim country, dating is illegal. (Yes, even for the expats.) Yet moving on required a kind of courage I only got from other people, sharing their stories of moving past trauma. So I wrote a book, Hello American Lady Creature (Greenpoint Press, May 31, 2014), and started doing a radio show to help others — like you! — share their stories.   
 
Every week I host "The Courage to Change with Lisa Kirchner," a half-hour show broadcast on Intention Radio that harnesses the power of storytelling to help people find the courage to keep moving on. I've had guests ranging from Tosha Silver (author of Outrageous Openness) to Ophira Eisenberg (author of Screw Everyone and NPR host), to regular "average" folks, all sharing their stories to inspire listeners, help make the load a little lighter.
 
Have you got a personal story you'd like to share?
 
You're here because you tell stories. I'd love to feature you as a guest. It's a fact: storytellers make the best guests! To see if we have a fit, I need your 100-word or less bio, and three sentence outline of your transformation story. What you were like before, what happened, and what you are like now. Specifics are better than observations. "I hated everyone at work, now I love them," I get. But, "I was called into HR to be fired. I started long distance running and learned how to put my obsessive energies into other things. Now I run the team." is better! Email me at info@lisalkirchner.com, use the subject line "Courage to Change Interview Pitch."
 
During the half-hour, you'll get a five-minute block to tell your story. I'll also need a pic before we schedule our interview. The show is pre-recorded "live" over Skype, no takes! But also, audio only. No fuss with hair and makeup. 
 
I ask guests to participate in a live Twitter chat after the show airs to engage audiences in their story. 

"The Courage to Change with Lisa Kirchner" is a weekly half-hour show,  When you schedule I'll need the short bio (one paragraph) you'd like me to read and use for promo, an ebook version of your book, and your picture. In the 1/2 hour you get a 5-minute block to read something you've written that's tied to your story. I'll need that, too.

We "pre-record live" (no takes) over Skype voice. 

I can't wait to hear your story, so email me already!
 

~ Lisa L. Kirchner
t: @lisakirchner

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Jacinta White’s One City One Prompt Extravaganza

To say Jacinta White ran with the idea of “Begin Again” is the understatement of One City One Prompt. As you can see from this report, the visionary Jacinta brought Begin Again and OCOP to ten partnering organization and over 200 people in the last two months.

One City, One Prompt Triad NC (Greensboro, Winston-­‐Salem, Kernersville)

Dates: March 1 – April 30, 2014

Organizer: Jacinta V. White, The Word Project, jacinta.white@poetryheals.com

Total # of partnering organizations: 10 (Healing Ground, Leadership Winston-Salem, NC Writers’ Network, Northern Guilford High School, Parkway United Church of Christ, Sacred Garden Bookstore, Tiny Writing Group, Winston-Salem Writers, Women Writers’ of the Triad, Writers Group of the Triad)

Total # of workshops/sessions: 10 + Concluding community celebration Total # of participants: approximately 200

Media Coverage:

Winston-Salem Journal, 3/9/14: Click here.

Winston-Salem Chronicle, 3/6/14: Click here.

O. Henry Magazine, 3/14: Click here.

Yes! Weekly, 2/19/14: Click here.

What Participants Are Saying:

“In our community we now talk about Jacinta’s magic bowl of interesting words which inspire, nudge, and surprise. Our experience with One City, One Prompt created a richer sense of community for us. The prompts will continue to prompt other writing, reflection, and soul work.” – Rev. Craig Schaub, Parkway United Church of Christ, Winston-Salem, NC

Blog: Click here.

“It was refreshing to interact with people who enjoy and truly understand the power of words!! There are so many stories inside of people and you will never know the impact your story might have on someone unless you share it!!!”

 

One City, One Prompt Triad Sample Participants’ Writings

for additional poems: click here, and  for photos, visit here.

The Word Project March – April 2014

Jacinta, thank you so much for everything! You truly have a gift for facilitating engaging discussion and bringing out the best in others. Thank you too for creating a safe space for us to share our thoughts and feelings. That comfort and trust is vital in these types of workshops. All my best, Carla

The notebook was tucked into her desk drawer, underneath some papers and a checkbook. Being the curious person that I am, I pulled it out and started thumbing through its pages. The first few held nothing interesting—doodles, a shopping list, a couple of addresses written down on the fly. But once I got through those ordinary scrawlings, I found something that made me see my mother in an entirely different way.

There were poems—nothing particularly literary, but not bad, either. Written in her deliberate, neat handwriting, the poems conveyed a sense of loss, and feelings that I never could have guessed my mother felt.

I knew she’d experienced plenty of loss by that point. Her mother had died, she’d lost a baby late in pregnancy. But those feelings were rarely expressed openly in front of me. I’d seen her cry at the funerals, but not once since. Now here, in this notebook hidden in a drawer, they were right in my face; raw, real, and so unlike the person I knew.

My mother was devoted to our family. She worked—sometimes two jobs—and still managed to take my sister and I to school, pick us up in the afternoons, and make sure we had hot meals in the evening and clean clothes to wear. Her time was at a premium, and she often chose to spend what little free moments she had with us.

I wondered when she could’ve had time to write this. Did she stay up late at night? Was she writing in the car while waiting for us to get out of school? I’d never once remembered seeing her putting pen to paper to do anything other than write checks, birthday cards or shopping lists.

As I spent more time helping my father sort through the house, I found other writing. A bit of prose written, but never finished. Another poem, apparently to be entered in a writing contest. The pieces were all in different places in the house—in a legal pad tucked into the pocket of her recliner, on a scrap of paper in her purse, and in various notebooks hidden in drawers.

I felt as though I was getting to know my mother all over again. I’d suddenly discovered this creative side of her that was there all the time—I just didn’t know it. Even when I wrote for school, and began to receive recognition for my writing as a student, she never once let on that she, too, enjoyed the craft. I wondered if she was scared, or self-­‐conscious. She’d been so self-­‐conscious about other things—her weight, our family’s lack of money—I wondered if she felt that same sense of self-­‐doubt about this.

I never mentioned what I’d found to my father or sister. I knew that she would be embarrassed that her secret was out, but I also felt that if anyone were to find it, she’d probably hope that person was me, because I would understand that creative urge.

As I’ve aged and found my place as a writer, I sometimes think that her creative spirit flows through me, and that this undeniable desire to express myself on paper is something I directly inherited from her. Like her, I tend to hang back and let others do the talking and stand in the spotlight. And even when I do receive recognition for what I do, it embarrasses me, just as I’m sure it would her to know someone was reading her words. — Jennifer Bringle

Begin Again

I remember a lightness
a feeling in my heart so full I thought it would burst into a million little pieces
As I drove farther and farther away, everything slipped away
This was the beginning
The start of a life I would leave behind
The birth of something new
Behind the wheel my heart swelled, airy and soft like a
balloon, leading me
I floated…
But there was also a heaviness, a weight at the root of my
stomach, heavy and rich like a mound of fresh earth, a weight
that I did not know then would eventually dissolve
With time…
With grace…
With strength…
With a fire inside me that would propel me forward
Out of this abyss
Into a place I did not know, but trusted in my heart I had to go
To begin again, you have to leave something behind
That night I surrendered everything I thought I was
Wife
Friend
Soul mate
Roles I shed, layer by layer
I left it all in my wake
On that summer night on the 30th of June, in the darkness and stillness of my car, I was breaking open.

-­‐ Carla Kucinski

He was Atlas bearing the world on his shoulders, his knees buckling from the weight. But he had to save the world. He had to let the world live or he would die from the weight of his failure. Too many
depended on him for him to stop.

He was Atlas and he wasn’t, had been Atlas for so long that he had forgotten that Atlas wasn’t his name.
He was wearing the name of someone he didn’t know.
He also wasn’t Jesus, though he acted like it, willing to sacrifice his life so they could breathe.

Silly he knew. Foolish it was. The past was a monster he couldn’t figure out how to kill. Guilt was a ghost that haunted
him in the sleep he never got. Nas said sleep was the cousin of death but who was death’s father. The sun told him he shouldn’t feel so responsible, that he wasn’t so responsible for them that he was irresponsible to

himself. This is your life. Let go, the sun said, so you can fly. The world will be fine. So he did and he flew high enough to kiss his own sky.

-­‐ Michael Hewlett

Always Go Down Swinging

With the tenacity of a boxer clinging to consciousness
I hold onto life
with both hands

strangling it until it breathes no more

Letting go only to regrip.
Reposition.
Never to resign.
Each ending becoming a realization that the fight cannot be won.

-­‐ David Ratcliffe

 

Begin Again

 

“Make a new plan, Stan.”

Refocus, reflect, re-imagine, redefine priorities,

View with unclouded eyes, hear with unclogged ears.

Establish a new routine.

Restart the engine. Reboot.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God,

And renew a right spirit within me.”

The time has come to adapt,

To renovate, revamp, remodel,

Rehab, redevelop, restore,

To decide what to keep and what to throw away,

To be transformed.

“And behold! All things are made new.”

Or to step out, shed restrictions,

Escape the bonds, break free,

Pull up stakes, reverse course,

Re-orient, re-route,

Find a new direction, take another path.

“And immediately they left their nets and followed him.”

Broken apart and reconstructed,

May we find new life—healed, reborn,

Resuscitated, regenerated, revitalized,

Now as the darkest days have passed

And our hemisphere tilts toward the light,

Remembering that “all shall be well,

And all manner of thing shall be well.”

- Grace Ellis

(Quotations from Paul Simon, Psalm 51: 10, 2 Corinthians 5: 17, Matthew 4: 20-22, Julian of Norwich)

Immersion

Still-­‐life in the mirror,
I hold onto life
with tenderness of a raindrop.

Water drips from my cheek and chin as fingers grasp for an echo dreamed away.

Letting go of yesterday’s losses, stubble circles the drain making way for a new gush

to rinse all bruises
that will fade under sunrise, tightening shadows,

and re-­‐managing their imperfect dimensions.

-­‐ Sam Barbee

A red faced baby was crying in a crowded restaurant. Of course the baby’s parents were mortified. The Dad and then the Mom madly searched for the pacifier in the diaper bag. “Where is that thing?!” they said over and over. Then “Ahhh. . . here it is!” and then, wiped off quickly, it was popped

into the open mouth of the baby. Quiet. All hearts beat a bit differently as the crying turned to the slow, slurpy movement of a pacifier in the tiny mouth of one so small-­‐-­‐of one with such urgent needs. Beginning again can happen-­‐-­‐when we are out of sorts-­‐-­‐even crying-­‐-­‐desolate-­‐-­‐in need. We can allow someone to provide us a pacifier-­‐-­‐maybe a kind word or a covered dish or a real card coming in the mail. And this pacifier, openly received, can

calm our flushed face and turn our crying into calmness. We can begin again with the help of another.

-­‐ Ruth D. Anderson, PhD

watch-­‐ful

Time…a relentless enemy,
it seems to me,
reminding me, challenging me, to start anew

to relish and use each second, aware that once it’s past,
it never comes again…

reminding me, challenging me, to dare to risk
a new beginning even
as life’s clock

ticks away the minutes days

weeks

years of my life… and even

a Cartier watch
cannot hold back its passage.

-­‐ Linda Faltin

letting go?

How I cling to the branch, longing to grasp it tightly, to never, ever let go.
The fall is fearsome. Where will I land?

In a welcoming, gently-­‐absorbing puddle or splat on the sidewalk,
breaking me into irretrievable pieces? Can taking such a risk

really be a new beginning-­‐ or will it simply mark the end of all that is, obliterating what will be in the fool-­‐hardy release of the familiar?

I don’t know… I wonder…

which gives me hope. -­‐ Linda Faltin

 

Beginnings

The tenderness of the raindrop clinging to a leaf.

The joyful white lace of the bride’s gown.

The joy, the laughter, the champagne, the toasts, the dancing the exchange of vows.

The tenderness of the raindrop clinging to a leaf.

The courage to know and the hopeful trust that we all are children of God— no more – no less.

-­‐ Barbara Provost

A New Day

Listen to the Silence, Let it Be.

Look, at the Sliver of golden yellow, As it Moves,

Across the deep dark sky.

Absorb it.
Feel the feathering breeze.

As it flows over,

So gently.
Oh! The birds are awakening

Chattering as they dart about. Breathe.
Breathe in the fresh cool air. Answer the crones.

Smile at the woodpecker’s hammering Relax in the dove’s comforting coo. Breathe in the first light.
It’s a new day.

Enjoy it.
-­‐ Geraldine Garrison

Each time the outcome has been nothing less Than happiness beyond all measure…oh yes!

But this time there was darkness and nothing to say A light had gone out on this saddest of days.

The void was so big and so terribly wide, I could honestly say I felt empty inside.

We expected to share our life with a child But that wasn’t to be for quite a long while.

I wished most of all that it did not take place. In my mind I forgot all the dreams -­‐ not a trace.

How could we continue…go on and live like before? Our hearts were so closed…we just shut the door.

The reasons were many to wallow and cry in despair
Yet we looked towards the heavens for guidance and care.

We saw we were blessed in so many ways
And our hurt slowly subsided with the passing of days.

So then I reflected and heard a voice deep within
Giving me strength and such hope to simply… begin again.

-­‐ Debi L.

Beginning again isn’t easy
even if you’re leaving behind those who are sleazy.
The memories attached to the people you met,
to even the places you’ll never forget.
These things will stay in my mind forever,
haunting me until I cannot remember.
There are still those I think of before slumber
who have “forgotten” about my programmed cell number. But I can’t sulk about their lack of attention,
they have their own lives outside my dimension.
So I shall carry on with my new life,
now with the burden of memory strife.

Haiku

Beginning again
a continuous cycle it will never end.

-­‐ Justin S.
Northern Guilford High School

With the light shining down onto me
I feel the warmth
of enlightenment With that, I

come to a realization
A realization of the
world around me
I have become self aware The chilling breeze flowing over my body

Now I am refreshed
I look out to the
horizon hearing the
subtle happy tune of a song bird that gives me optimism for the future

Haiku

I open my eyes
and watch the birth of a child

only to see me

-­‐ Seth C.
Northern Guilford High School

With the tenderness of a raindrop and most certainly with my luck
I walked across the street one day and get hit by a passing truck

Now I am in a wheelchair
because I broke my leg
The end of my poem doesn’t rhyme I really like Bojangles

Haiku

Haikus are awesome
but sometimes they don’t make sense refrigerator

-­‐ Eli G.
Northern Guilford High School

Life, like the sea is ever changing The tide comes and it goes Waves rise

and they fall Never the same Never a new

Haiku

As the sun will rise
The darkness fades away A new day will dawn

(no name)
Northern Guilford High School

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CHILDREN WHO JOURNAL: HANGING ONTO THEIR INNER RESOURCES

By Joanna Tebbs Young

The journal is a place to nurture what is best within the self, and I think children understand that. — Lucia Capacchione, The Creative Journal for Children My daughter, who is eleven, has already managed to accumulate a pretty impressive collection of journals. While the explosion she calls a bedroom obviously doesn’t reflect the tidy genes I passed on, her love of paper and pens and writing does. Although many of the pages are filled with the inked characters that spring from her imagination, as her writing abilities grew, so did the number of written pages. And on those occasions when she comes home from school fighting tears of hurt or frustration, I send her to her journal. This tends to calm the emotional-fireworks enough for a more rational, productive, and pro-active conversation. 

Journaling is an extremely flexible and beneficial method for children to explore their creativity, express their emotions, and discover their own inner resources.There are so many reasons why it is a great idea for children – even pre-writers – to keep a journal. Whether it is pages of healthy scribbling, a self-portrait in thick crayon, a retelling of an experience, or a complex fantasy story featuring themselves in the lead role, any self-expression has been proven to improve both physical and mental health. For example, the very act of writing down emotions has been found to promote healing, regulate emotional extremes, and reduce anxiety (resulting in less illness and missed days of school).

Lucia Capacchione, founder of the Creative Journal Method and Inner Child work, lists in her book, The Creative Journal for Children the many benefits of journaling for children:

• The privacy* of a journal with its freedom from judgment or failure: 

• The writing and drawing practice — verbal and nonverbal expression: 

• The emotional release which comes through the writing and/or drawing allows for:

o Fosters feelings of safety and relaxation 

o Encourages self-honesty and spontaneity

o Cultivates a child’s innate creativity and imagination

o Encourages and enhances communication and brainstorming skills 

o Develops and integrate both right and left brain functioning

o Acceptance of feelings; self-understanding

o Self-Confidence

o Self-Discovery (of own beliefs, desires, and talents)

But above all, teaching them at a young age to express their feelings in a healthy manner provides them with the skills to not only be aware of their various emotions, but to not be afraid of them. In general, our culture teaches us to suppress our “negative” emotions and intuition at an early age (and in some cases, due to family dynamics, religious/social teachings, and/or trauma, this suppression can be exacerbated to the point of emotional numbness), and re-connecting to this vital, message-giving internal language can be extremely different as an adult. We want to give our children a defense against this unfortunate human habit. Learning from the get-go that emotions are neither good nor bad but rather just messages that can and should be expressed in a safe place, your child will have a leg-up on developing into an emotionally mature adult. 

*Privacy: PLEASE respect the privacy of your child’s — especially your pre-teen/teen’s — journal. I have heard from many an adult who can no longer write down their own feelings and/or secrets, or write at all, for that matter, because their trust was broken once upon a time by a snooping parent, sibling, or friend.

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