Being able to express ourselves using the hand written word is rapidly becoming a lost art. Kids are more likely to type on their laptops or send a text message if they have anything to say. But writing by hand is a whole different experience for teens: it’s a much more emotional connection with their inner selves, and it will be a tool that they can use to help them navigate through their most turbulent years. Here are some ways to help teens want to keep a journal.
– Give them a journal they’ll really want to write in: it should look special, feel special, and even smell special. Expecting them to write in a spiral-bound notebook will seem too much like a school assignment. Pre-adolescent and very young teen girls love to have something that they can lock, keeping their most precious thoughts “secret.” Older girls may like a journal padded on the outside with eastern-style fabrics and adorned with rhinestones. Both boys and girls will love the look, feel, and smell of real leather-bound journals with rough, hand hewn pages. Such a journal evokes a sense of importance and rusticity. The look of a journal may seem unimportant to adults, but to teens it makes a huge difference: get them off to a good start by getting them just what they want.
– Give them ideas on what to write. The common complaint is: “My life is boring; there’s nothing ‘interesting’ to write.” Encourage them to put their feelings down along with the daily ins and outs of their lives. They can express their hopes, dreams, and so forth. Teens love to make “lists” and fill out online surveys: they can make lists in their journals of their favorite foods, movie stars, sports figures, etc.
– When teens are going through bad times, suggest that they take out their frustrations on and vent to their journals. It will help them to sort through their conflicting emotions and make them feel better.
– If you have a teen that is self-conscious about his or her writing skills, encourage the child to draw in the journal instead. There are no real hard and fast rules in journal-keeping: it’s all about self-expression, however it’s most comfortable.
Let teens know that they should keep these journals and look back on them in later years: they will be a priceless glimpse into their growing years that they will always treasure.
About the Author: Billings Farnsworth
Billings Farnsworth is a freelance writer. Leather Keepsakes (http://www.leatherkeepsakes.com/)is a product of handmade leather journals, handmade leather photo albums and handmade leather gifts on the market.