Roger Wolfson – How to Encourage Your Child to Write
Great writers had to start somewhere. Usually the urge to make bold steps into unknown creative territory starts rather late in life. For screenwriter, Roger Wolfson, despite having a resume showcasing high quality legal and crime dramas, his drive to depict his stories of American life came quite late in his adulthood.
Expressing this in his regular column in The Washington Post, Wolfson identifies the need to give children as much encouragement and opportunities to apply their language to text. Full immersion into story telling is a positive and effective way to install a fun intrigue into writing and need not be considered a chore.
Here are some examples on how to encourage your child to write more.
Conversations in different forms.
Children love to report to elders. Think of how many times your own or another’s child dashes back to the table where adults chat to inform them of something that have discovered or an incident with another child. Of course if there is a sense of urgency and danger it wouldn’t be advisable for a child to write it all down.
However, the retelling of tales in different formats is a great exercise for child to understand the importance of clarity, chronology and pace.
Set exercises inside playtime for children to self-produce an audio recording of a story, rehearse a speech or play act a scene.
Set assignments to replace other chores
A simple intervention is to offer the option of ‘some’ chores to be exchanged for a story. Giving value to their time is a lesson in perception on how we make meaning in what we do. More specifically, what we make.
Create a Writing Space.
A room with a function. Any artist needs a space to gather themselves in. Having a space or room set aside for your child to read and write in would provide enormous encouragement for them to construct stories or reports in. Safe from distraction or noise, children’s imaginations will flourish. So putting materials and space to allow this is extremely useful.
Encourage more reading. It really is that simple. More reading will spark mental images and broaden the vocabulary. Finding the pleasure in words as selected over other words is of great significance when studying language and its evolution.
Lead by example. Children will often look to others to find what to do. If they see their parents writing and not just watching TV in the evenings, they will be compelled to do the same. Along with this, foster a sharing attitude to wiring. Be open about what you are doing and encourage children to accept constructive criticism.
Listen to stories together
Sit together and enjoy stories spoken on the radio. With diligence to the content being suitable for young ears, set aside time for afterwards to discuss what was understood.
Keeping a journal is hard. It relies on a schedule for it to form a habit. That being said, there are various ways to record information. Setting 20 mins each night to make a quick report, comic, list of words and audio recording of their day will encourage an attitude to document information and realise the importance of recognising one’s life.