Written by: Lorena Morales
Translated by: Lorena Martínez Lombard
“Writing is adding a room to the house of life”
Adolfo Bioy Casares
Words are the medium that connect us with the world. From children, we make a link each time we name an experience, person, object, emotion… and we learn to order and make sense of each experience. The richer the language, the more resources we need to embrace both the outside world and the world within us.
Unfortunately, each time we have less opportunity to enrich this language, since electronic media occupies time that could be dedicated to activities related to quality reading and writing. Images have come to dominate out attention, making it more difficult to value the effort of taking the time to read and create mental pictures fabricated from reading, as well as writing and communicating with words what are now usually expressed with an “emoji” or “meme”.
Children have the marvelous liberty of choosing words, and any type of writing – diary entries, cards, stories, poems, writing about a trip or unforgettable experience – is an excelente way of expressing their world. They only need a notebook and a pen, and the invitation to let loose and be surprised by the results.
Without a doubt, writing is linked to reading. Describing the worlds opened by books will spread the pleasure of exploring their own interior worlds. Children can select authors or genres that are similar to their likes and personality, with which they will start defining their own writing style. As Kafka would say: “A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us”.
On another note, besides being an activity that flourishes our well-being, writing strengthens the ability to learn: it helps withhold information with more intensity, multiplying cerebral connections. In other words, writing increases intelligence.
Especially expressive writing – writing for oneself – helps our children deal with a difficult situation or periods of change, such as adolescence. Writing on paper or in the computer can become a mirror of observations and new discoveries.
There exist more benefits of writing, and I invite us to motivate out children, and why not, or own selves, to start practicing them:
- Writing helps detain us. Sitting down to write implies making a halt and calming exterior sounds, in order to hear the world within us. Having moments of peace used to write has a great value in increasing our harmony.
- Writing helps get to know oneself. By writing, we project different parts of our internal world that can allow us to get in touch with out emotions, understand what we value, what motivates us, our dreams…
- Writing allows us to reflect. Expressing on paper what we live can allow us to analyze and unite ideas that give us a new perspective. It allows us to become readers of our own life and gives us the distance to plant new solutions.
- Writing liberates emotions. On occasions, unpacking our most difficult emotions on paper helps make them more manageable. It helps to write, or, with smaller children, to draw, after living a sad experience or one that causes a lot of anger.
- Writing helps us become more creative. Writing can allow us to plant new scenarios, create new worlds, paint experiences in a new color. Writing integrates the uso of our two cerebral hemispheres, which feeds our ideas with the creative part of our brain, thus increasing results.
- Writing helps improve mental and physical health. It has been found that writing helps liberate stress and therefore reduce harmful physiological effects. It helps increase our mood and gain a more positive perspective on life.
- Writing leads us to develop a social compromise. Once we write for ourselves and discover new things, we can share our thoughts and help transmit ideas, and open consciences.
It is in our hands to form the next generations with the value of language and writing. Writing for oneself will give our children the valuable tool to increase their growth, and writing for others will allow them to share and create bonds. Writing will help feel we are not alone and understand we have so much to give to the world.
As an educative platform that promotes Child Rights, Pequeñ@s Ciudadan@s understands and promotes the right to emotional health. Out team is trained with medics, psychologists, educators, lawyers and philosophers that share information and activities for children, regarding Culture of Lawfulness. We invite you to share our articles and stay informed on our Facebook page.
Lorena Morales is a clinical psychologists, psychotherapist and thanatologist, specialized in individual, partner and family therapy. Founder of Blueprint, through which she also offers capacitation to families and educational institutions.