What If My Child Hates Freewriting?
Not all kids love the timer or freewriting. If your child hates it then I suggest you freewrite yourself (with which ever kids in the family will participate) and pair it with brownies. You can also try freewriting:
- at a local Starbucks,
- the library,
- outside on a picnic table,
- or inside UNDER a table.
You might try “midnight” freewrites where everyone gets up at midnight and writes by candle light.
Noah, my oldest, was this way. He even today says that the timer is too much pressure for him. We got to a place where we didn’t set a timer for him. I also taught him how to keep a “special events” journal where he only wrote when there was a special event to remember. He has one journal from an entire childhood and it has probably 15-20 entries. It was enough. It helped. Stay open to who your child is.
Kids need to be shown that you really are okay with what they write (telling doesn’t always convince them). You might:
- scrunch up the page first,
- ask your kids to assign you a topic,
- freewrite first and ask your children to read yours to you and give you feedback,
- or offer gel pens and black paper.
And of course, you can catch them in the act of thinking and jot down THEIR words as they say them to you spontaneously in an unplanned moment. That counts too!
Let children create their own list the day before you freewrite. Set the timer for a minute and ask them to write in a list down the page ALL the things they love and know a lot about. Any topic. Then when you go to freewrite, they can choose from the list or just write what comes to mind. Their choice.
Mix it up! Get rid of the schoolish element. See what happens.