“Let me jot that down.”

If you’ve hung around Brave Writer, you know the power of jotting down a spontaneous eruption of passionate speech—a story, an exposition of facts, how to do an activity, and so on—any time a child is stuck in writing—jot it down!

We jot down our kids’ lively speech to demonstrate the power of writing—what lives in them deserves to be preserved in writing and shared with an interested audience.

Did you know that you can also use “jotting down” to capture and validate a child’s

  • thoughts,
  • complaints,
  • frustrations,
  • and feelings?

Example: your daughter finds the math lesson really hard. She’s struggling to even explain why.

You can offer her support by saying:

“Let me jot that down for you.” Then write her exact thoughts and feelings. Read them back. “You said you get tired really fast and that your head hurts when you do math. Did I miss anything?What else shall I add?”

Once you’ve captured all she has to say, thank her. Let her know you’d like time to reflect on what she shared—to read it later. Take a break from the activity.

Return later that day or the next. You might ask her how she’s feeling today—did she get any insight since you wrote her feelings for her? You might offer a sincere comment like: “I didn’t realize how much your head hurt.”

You may be amazed. The act of writing a child’s complaint is often enough support to allow a child to have a new thought—the solution to her problem.

No matter what, jotting down a child’s real feelings and thoughts shows you take your child’s complaint or struggle seriously. This approach works for any situation or struggle: “I hate wearing shoes,” or “Going to co-op is stupid,” or “Lizzie never wants to play with me…”

  • Value the upset.
  • Jot down the concern.
  • Read it back.
  • Reflect on it.
  • Revisit the next day and see what solutions emerge.

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!


Jot It Down

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