7 Benefits of Journaling for Children of Divorce
Science has proven the benefits of journaling. While we may typically think of journaling as an “adult” activity, the benefits certainly apply to kids as well. The benefits of journaling for children of divorce can be a powerful coping tool as parental separation is an incredibly difficult situation to experience no matter what the circumstances. In fact, according to the Center for Child Counseling, “there is no doubt that the conflict and chronic stress involved in divorce is one of the leading causes of trauma in young children and a very significant ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience)”.
Once the decision to divorce/separation has been made, we as parents, can and need to help our children through this difficult time. While we can’t change the situation, we can help influence the way our child perceives and handles this life changing event. And we can do so through the simple yet effective act of journaling.
My son is now 5 and we've been journaling for a year using our Home Sweet Homes co-parenting journal. It’s a unique child-led tool created for children of divorce that stays with the child allowing him/her to feel connected and still part of the family unit.
Through our consistent journaling practice, my son’s father and I have seen a wondrous transformation in our son. We’ve noticed his ability to better identify and talk about his feelings, improved communication skills, and overall happiness. We plan on continuing our journaling practice with our son and encourage you to start a practice with your child as well.
Here are the 7 Benefits of Journaling for Kids of Divorce and/or Separation
Just as in adults, journaling can give kids an outlet for anything: capturing ideas, organizing, venting, working out problems, drawing, or whatever s/he feels like.
Provides a Safe Space to Share Thoughts
Children of separation are going through a lot in their lives. A journal can provide a secure and private outlet allowing a child to share and let things out comfortably versus bottling bothersome thoughts and feelings inside.
Develops Emotional Intelligence
Journaling is an incredible tool to reflect on and manage feelings. An increased emotional intelligence quotient has been backed by research as a predictor of future success in relationships, health, and quality of life.
Writing can serve as an escape or emotional release of thoughts and feelings. It is a well-known stress-management tool and can help reduce anxiety and lessen feelings of distress.
Builds Up Immune System
Studies have shown that writing as therapy can boost our immune systems, decreasing the likelihood of sickness and helping us fight off illness and disease.
Allows for New Perspectives
Writing can give kids an opportunity to see things from a different point of view once they’ve had time to reflect.
Helps in Recovery and Healing
Writing things down will allow children to process what has occurred at their own pace. Journaling opens the doors for kids to directly confront the things s/he has experienced or is experiencing.
The benefits of journaling for children of divorce don’t end here. Other advantages include some the more traditional benefits including:
- Helps boost memory
- Improves reading
- Strengthens writing comprehension and communication skills
- Boosts creativity
- Preserving memories/creating a special keepsake
The beauty of journaling is that it’s completely free and anybody can do it. Journaling with a child can be done as early as age 4! If a child can't write yet, it still makes for a wonderful bonding activity where a parent (or other adult) can lead the discussion, ask questions to get the child thinking and help record responses.
We hope these benefits of journaling for children of divorce inspires you to start a practice with your child or recommend it to someone you know to try it.
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