Preteen Journal Writing—
One of the greatest benefits of journal writing is self-discovery. And self-discovery most definitely will have a positive effect on your pre-teen’s confidence and self-esteem. When we write in a journal we are taking a journey into the depths of who we are. Who we are is composed of many different aspects, and it is these aspects that the pre-teen is exposed to through the journaling process.
Part of self-discovery is the identification of our values. Most young people have values of one form or another, but many are not yet crystallized as life guiding principles. For the most part, they know what is good and how to behave. Values, at this young age, are more of what society expects and less of a possession of their own person. Through the journaling process, your preteen gets the opportunity to identify and solidify both cultural and personal values.
Associated with our values is the expression of unformed inner impulses. All young people have unformed impulses. Perhaps your pre-teen has unformed anger impulses.
“Our inner impulses are related to our thoughts, feelings and behavior. If we are thinking we have been offended then we are going to feel anger and will react to that feeling in one way or another.”
The journal can help the pre-teen discover these unformed impulses and explore appropriate ways for their expression. In fact, a favorite journal may even become a place where your child expresses their anger, thus directing it in appropriate ways.
Journal Writing for Self-Discovery
Part of self-discovery is identifying what we are thinking and feeling so that our behavior reflects our values. When your preteen writes their thoughts into their journal they can gain the clarity of what is really going on within themselves and develop means of coping with it.
Another part of self-discovery is the revelation of how we process information. How we process our thoughts will determine how we feel and our behavior.
If we process information in a positive way and with confidence we will feel good about ourselves and act in an energetic and optimistic manner. The journal affords your pre-teen the opportunity to observe their thought process and identify those areas that can be shaped in a new direction.
Most of us feel better about ourselves when we discover things about ourselves on our own rather than from someone else. All parents know very well how a pre-teen can react when they identify a behavior in their child. However, the response is completely different when a pre-teen discovers their behaviors themselves through the journaling process.
Journal writing shifts the pre-teen to an observer and recorder position, and because they are being objective rather than subjective they can more easily counsel themselves, again through the journaling process, and make changes if necessary.
When your pre-teen has this type of control over their lives they will develop more confidence and this will feed their self-esteem.