Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Helping Your Child Flourish As a Writer

I don’t remember wanting to be a writer as a kid. I did however, always love English, spelling, and reading. They came fairly easily to me and it was something I enjoyed.

My mom would take my sister and I to the library in the summertime and we would stock up on books. I think reading helps children learn to love words and it did for me…without me even knowing it.

I have continued the tradition of taking my kids to the library in the summertime. I have expanded on that by getting them magazine subscriptions from time to time. But for both of my girls; I have noticed that they have a natural gift for writing. Whether it’s a boring report that is due for school or a more creative piece….they are good at conveying thoughts to paper.

I wanted to encourage that since I have learned to love writing so much. So every once in awhile (especially on car trips) I have them write a story. I give them a title and then they go to work crafting a story based on that title. It’s really fun to see what they come up with. Sometimes the stories are short and sweet, other times very detail-oriented and elaborate. A lot of times they like to use humor (as all kids enjoy the “funny” side of life) but more recently, I’ve also noticed them using touching moments or tender thoughts in their writing.

I’m not trying to push my kids to be writers. However, if they have a natural bent to write then I want to encourage that. I’ve noticed that the more I write, the easier it is. When I take a long break or extended time away from writing – it takes a little while for me to get back in the groove. So I like to encourage my children to put pen or pencil to paper as often as they’d like. They each have even started writing stories on their own from time to time!

If you notice your child loves to write or even just loves the gift of a good story; you might try encouraging them to write more often. Suggest a topic and see what their creative mind comes up with in response. I bet you’ll both enjoy it and you never know what it will develop into down the road!

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