We used to call them "diaries" but as with so many other things in the course of growth and change, these
books for daily thoughts are now called "journals." Diaries were only for girls, with their locks for protection that could
be easily opened with a bobby pin or letter opener by the truly curious.
Now that professionals have discovered that
writing down our innermost feelings is therapeutic, journals are a suggested way of releasing tensions, hostility and everything
else that can't be talked about with another person.
If you or your children have never kept a journal, now is a good
time to start. Journals can be a spiral notebook or a three-ring binder - both are a good size for writing, doodling, jotting
notes and actually writing something of importance. It's a perfect way for children to express their feelings of love, anger,
confusion and grief. They often have difficulty articulating their thoughts and a journal gives them permission to "let it
all out." Children should be assured that no one will ever read what they've written unless they have permission and that
they can write whatever they want to. When a child writes in his journal, he's writing from his heart and what flows is truth
for him. Prying eyes shouldn't diminish what is truth for him.
If a child can't seem to get started in his writing,
give him several topics to "prime the pump"; such as:
*TODAY WASN'T SUCH A GOOD DAY. "
* TODAY WAS A GOOD DAY.
Some families have a joint journal, that is, everyone writes in the same book. Parents are free to write their concerns
or complaints about any other member of the family who also can write in reply. Each family agrees on the rules of the writings.