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Dear Diary

06:00 am | Monday, 22 June 2015

Growing up without personal gadgets was perhaps one of the best things about childhood in the 80s and before. It forced us to make the most of what we had and surprisingly we never got 'bored' as much. Books, playing outdoors and occasional creative crafting was probably all we did during weekends and long summer holidays.

In those days, keeping a diary or journaling as they say today, was quite popular among kids. Most of us wrote in our diaries on a daily basis. And this was partly also because it was uncommon to speak freely about one's fears, doubts, curiosities etc. But our journals were also rich with stories, imaginations, observations and other forms of creative expression. Journaling today is recommended by teachers, psychologists, and child development experts as a practice that all kids should try and adopt. And it doesn't mean writing everyday or penning lengthy dissertations. It can be as easy as a weekly entry on just about anything and it doesn't even have to have paragraphs, bullet points, one-liners all work just fine. It should be the one free experience without any rules, where your children can express themselves, be creative, experiment with different kinds of writing and just be themselves.     

Consider its benefits:
  • It helps to list, identify and even discover near and distant dreams, goals and ambitions.
  • It can be a tool for catharsis and stress-relief since negative emotions can be vented privately.
  • Writing something down makes it more real in some ways and spells out the pros and cons clearly.
  • Putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard (in case of electronic journals) brings out creativity with language, imagery, form etc so writing actually improves over a period of time.
  • It helps us get to know ourselves better as we read and reread our writings and see patterns of behaviour.
  • Sitting down with your thoughts brings a sense of calm contemplation and the ability to enjoy one's own company, in our hectic lifestyles.

Suggest it to your child as a gainful activity. Maybe inspiring him/her to read a few famous journals will help. The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank, or The Broke Diaries: The Completely True and Hilarious Misadventures of a Good Girl Gone Broke by Angela Nissel, The Diaries of Leonardo da Vinci, Journals Of First Voyage To America by Christopher Columbus or even fictional journals like The Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series, Diary Of A Wombat by Jackie French are a few of the many you can try.

Supriya Kutty is a freelance writer having written on everything from food, tourism and travel, architecture and interior design and IT for CW Interiors magazine, www.femina.inwww.metromela.co and Harmony magazine. She also blogs at www.quicheandtell.wordpress.com