Encouraging my two-and-a-half-year-old son to write isn’t a problem. Encouraging him to express himself on paper, rather than on the walls, is the issue in my household. But once the act of writing is mastered and scribbling becomes meaningful composition, how do parents motivate their child to write more?
Having a fresh supply of writing materials (i.e., crisp paper, colorful writing instruments, and reference books) can be helpful. After all, who can resist the temptation to mark up that stark white paper? However, the most critical factor in motivating children to write is to help them become aware of the many writing opportunities right at home. Keeping a journal, having a pen pal, or creating a family newsletter are just a few ways writers can find inspiration. Making children aware that writing doesn’t always have to be the result of a school assignment is essential.
Encourage your child to share selected writings with you, but realize that they may wish to keep some pieces private. Bear in mind that your feedback should be thoughtful and constructive. For children to become confident writers, they need to be assured that their parents support their efforts.
Some other suggestions for inspiring your young writer:
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