“My Child Hates Writing.” What do I do?

“My Child Hates Writing.” What do I do? thumbnail

“My child hates writing” is a phrase we hear a lot from parents who are yet to find an effective way to transform their reluctant writer’s attitude. Building strong writing skills is very important, as being a capable writer will be valuable in all stages and walks of life.

Teaching writing and explaining its benefits can be challenging, especially when your child isn’t the biggest fan of putting pen to paper. We’re here to help you through this issue and transform your reluctant writer into a budding young author.

Here are our top tips on how to get your child to love writing:

1. Explore why your child feels this way toward writing.

Some children are naturally resistant to learning in general. However there may have been a specific event that triggered these negative feelings toward writing specifically. It can be as simple as a failed test, the inability to complete a certain writing assignment, or not being able to perform the physical act of writing. It can also stem from a more profound root cause, such as dyslexia, ADHD and other SEN forms. Getting to the source of the problem can do wonders for their progress!

Whether you’re homeschooling your child or trying to understand your child’s aversion to writing, direct communication with your child is always the best first step. It’s very important to demonstrate to your child that you value their opinions and understand their feelings. You can ask them why they dislike writing and how they’d like to tackle this obstacle - we know that this may seem like a difficult discussion, but you’ll likely find this extremely helpful.

Once you’ve gathered a good understanding of why your child feels this way toward writing, you can start brainstorming ways to tackle this obstacle and help your young learner. Perhaps they need to focus on their fine motor skills before moving onto writing a whole piece, or maybe they simply need simple, step-by-step guidance from someone they trust on how to create a piece of writing.

2. Children are extremely observant. Show them the joy of writing!

Children will often look up to you as a role model and are also likely to mimic your actions, so use this to your advantage when attempting to overcome this issue. Teaching writing can be done passively, simply by demonstrating just how fun it can be!

Why not start writing a storybook with your child? Or start journalling when your child is around? This could be especially effectively outside of learning time - perhaps in the evening, as part of your family’s night routine.

Be sure to also expose your child to a variety of educational content, from printable worksheets, to YouTube videos and even podcasts - children tend to actively listen, even when it seems like they’re not!

Here’s a pro tip: take a look at our blog for some awesome, free creative writing prompts that you can try out with your child!

3. Incorporate writing into daily tasks.

There are many ways to incorporate writing in everyday activities. For example, ask your child to write down the weekly shopping list while you say aloud the items you need - or allow them to try writing this list using their own words! This will take focus away from the writing process by encouraging your child to focus on the idea that they are helping their parent, creating a positive emotional connection between them and the act of writing something, while also giving them a sense of achievement.

In summary, choose a daily chore or task that you’d like to get done and integrate creative writing into it!

4. Create a rewards system.

A writing tracker or table could be a great way to motivate your reluctant writer to work on their writing skills! Not only will this create a clear goal for your child to achieve, but it’ll also set clear standards for their written work and give them instructions on how to get rewarded!

Whether you’re looking to get your reluctant writer to work on their penmanship, correct spelling or simply trying to encourage them to use their imagination more actively, creating a reward system often speeds up their progress, and it’s something we highly recommend!

5. Teach your child that writing can be liberating!

Writing can be freeing, as it improves self-expression, self-confidence and independence. Writing doesn’t have to be boring, or purely used in an educational setting. Your child can write about anything - from keeping a diary, to blogging, to even participating in creative writing competitions!

Writing can truly become your child’s best friend! Sometimes verbal self-expression is difficult, and there are times where we don’t want to share our thoughts and feelings with others, so writing can be an extremely freeing activity (for all of us)! Encouraging your child to write as a way to express how they feel is a great way to motivate them to keep building their writing skills without actively focusing on the physical act of writing.

6. Share your child’s writing!

Something that is usually a very effective way to motivate your child to write is to share your child’s work with family, friends or online. It’s another great way to help your young learner develop self-confidence as they continue to build their writing skills!

Sharing printable copies of your child’s written work with others or creating personalized books that heavily feature your child’s writing is another wonderful way to inspire them to keep working hard.

Other activities such as blogging have many benefits when it comes to encouraging children to want to write. It can be a very positive way to motivate your child to change their opinion on writing, as they’ll also likely be in contact with other children who love writing.

7. Make writing fun for your child!

Another thing you can do to inspire your child to want to write is to get your reluctant writer to draw a specific setting or character. Once they’re done with their drawing, encourage them to write about it - this can be a description of what they’ve created or a story that incorporates the character or setting in the drawing. This may make it a little less challenging to convince them to write, as some of the creative work that goes into writing has already been completed in a visual way.

child-holding-up-drawing

There are endless ways to encourage your child to give writing a go! These include verbal discussions, board games, workbooks, printable materials, outdoor activities and online writing programs, such as nightzookeeper.com! We’ve witnessed the power of alternative approaches to writing and they can really make a difference in terms of how your child feels toward writing.

Conclusion

We hope you’ve found these tips helpful and would love for you to check out our reading and writing program! Nightzookeeper.com offers a full language arts/literacy curriculum and is guaranteed to transform your reluctant writer into a budding young author by using gamified learning as an approach to writing skills development.

We’d love to hear about how you’ve encouraged your child to love writing! If you’d like to share your advice with us for the chance to be featured in a future blog post, please reach out to us via email at [email protected], or through our social media channels. You can reach us on:

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