Some children have a naturally active imagination and storytelling comes as easily to them as playing. They are lucky because immersing themselves in creative writing has so many positive benefits that will travel with them on their journey through life.
What’s that? Your child has no imagination? He or she doesn't enjoy making up stories or putting words onto paper? Rubbish!
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All children are born with a natural curiosity and a desire to captivate the attention of others. All children love to pick up a pen or pencil and make marks on a page that they proudly show off to whoever will look. If your child is reluctant to do this then there is a reason for it. Perhaps they've been discouraged or criticised in the past, but it’s important that we help them to re-connect to a love of writing.
Writing and drawing are some of the best ways to approach communication with children, and encourage them to articulate their thoughts. That’s why psychologists use these tools in their interactions with young patients. I have worked with several students who use writing as a therapeutic way to understand and connect with the world around them.
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Don’t worry if your child doesn't necessarily show a talent for the written word. As with any writer, the only way to improve is to write more – and more often. Don’t discourage your child, but rather give them any opportunity to write – even if it’s to help you with the grocery list or writing the annual Christmas cards. The earlier you start the more easily writing will become an ingrained part of your child’s life and as they grow, their writing capabilities will grow with them.
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Take care also not to set your expectations too high – we’re not trying to raise famous authors - self-expression is the aim and we can set an example for our sons and daughters by practicing our own self-expression through writing.