Good writing is essential to convey meaningful ideas. For children, writing can be a joy or a tedious chore. If your child experiences the latter, chances are you’re racking your brain for ways to encourage your child to write. Writing consists of many stages – this includes generating ideas and reviewing them before they are expressing on paper. The act of writing itself is also a hurdle for some children. Here are a few ways to encourage your child to write, through fun, joy and purpose.
1) Talk About Writing
Have a conversation with your child to find out why he or she dislikes writing. You may find out that they are afraid to write for various reasons. It could be the feeling that they take too long to write or have writer’s block frequently. You can discuss ways that will help your child overcome these obstacles. One way is to mention that even their favourite authors have/had writer’s block as well and guide them through creative ways to tackle writer’s block. Equipping children with ways to address their fear allows them to play an active role in their progress.
2) Find its Purpose
Writing is not just penning down long chunks of text. It is part of daily life. Simple actions like writing a shopping list or a note in a birthday card are opportunities to practice writing. Having a purpose to write paves the way towards your child’s learning and also encourages them to write. It also teaches them that various forms of writing serves various purposes. Changing the approach they take for each purpose may show them that writing is not dull.
3) Make Writing Comfortable
Writing can be physically challenging for some children. This deters them from penning their thoughts down. For example, they may have a problem with penmanship. Fortunately, this can be improved with practice. For some children, a more conducive environment may be the key to them feeling motivated to write. Don’t force them to sit at a desk. Allow them to sit comfortably on the sofa or the floor, as long as their posture is not affected.
4) Change Boring Topics
Children are sometimes not compelled to write because they do not like the topic provided to them. Allow your kids to write about what interests them. This also encourages free flow writing and reduces the chance of writer’s block, which can deter children from writing.
5) Have Daily Writing Time
Frequency is an essential step to forming a habit. Encourage your child to sit and write for 20 to 40 minutes for at least three days in a week. You can brainstorm potential writing ideas with your child during the writing period. After your child has attempted writing the story, encourage them to reread and improve the writing. Praise your children for the correct spellings of difficult words and proper usage of grammar. At the same time, don’t be overly focused on correct spelling and grammar. Being excessively critical will only reduce your child’s motivation to write.
Writing can be a fun activity even with the most reluctant of writers. Finding the reason behind your child’s dislike for writing will help you overcome it with them. Let them realise that there is nothing to be afraid about writing. For children who find writing boring, including a topic that they love will create the first spark of interest. Above all, children require patience and support to encourage them to write.