Developing writing skills in children from early ages is usually quite tasking. Almost like the case of forcing the horse to the stream; how do you force it to drink the water? Engaging children in creative writing might be quite tasking at initial stages but with a little encouragement, progress can be made. You will probably get to a stage where your child is upset with you for pushing, and you’re angry at the child for not learning as fast as you would like. Everyone is tired and angry, yet nothing is accomplished. Thankfully, while getting children to concentrate might be a little difficult, it is not impossible; as the saying goes, nothing good comes easy. You need to always remember that presentation is important even for this purpose. Add some fun and entertainment to the exercise and watch the child light up and learn. It is okay for children to make mistakes, we all do. Don’t be too hard on them. Spelling mistakes are normal especially when they are still pupils. They need patience, encouragement and a learning environment free of fear and apprehension of being punished for getting things wrong when they try.
Lots of children have problems expressing themselves because more often than not, their ideas are dismissed or accorded mild attention and forgotten. Sometimes, a child would call your attention to the oddest things and you would wonder why they made you waste your time when you see what it is; pay attention to them anyway. There are a number of methods that can be employed in making creative writing fun for young children. Like we me mentioned earlier, listening to children and entertaining their ideas is very important because then, you learn about the things they are interested in, the areas where their skills are stronger and those areas where they need to be encouraged to improve.
Everyone loves fun and games, children most of all. Tell a child to write a story with pictures, cut out images from old newspapers and words, colour pencils, crayons and colourful papers. It is okay to let them freestyle at first and write about any and everything they can think of. Through time, they can start getting specific topics to write about, like what they want to be, stories they want to tell, their pets, what they had for breakfast or a dream they had the night before. You need to remember though, that a child would find it hard to relate to, or write about things he/she hasn’t seen or experienced; contribute to the adventures the child can write about by taking out time to play roles; boys like to be superheroes and some girls like to play house. Try not to force stereotypic roles on the children. Think of how irked you would be if everyone assumed that because you’re female, you’d love to wear pink every other day; I know I’d be pretty miffed. Or if people just bought lots and lots of legos blocks for you because you’re a boy, when you’d rather read books. Yes, that feeling right there. Don’t let your children feel like they are strangers to you.
In encouraging children to express their creativity, let them to do presentations at small family gatherings with other adults and children, not in a competitive way, but in an atmosphere of encouragement to boost their confidence in making presentations before crowds.
For more tips and guidelines on encouraging creative writing in children, please visit www.maryamato.com/tips-for-parents-how-to-encourage-creative-writing and http://www.greatschools.org/special-education/LD-ADHD/806-seven-ways-to-encourage-kids-writing.gs