A little too familiar?
I’ve been there as well, on the battleground with pencil in hand, trying to convince my then seven year old that writing can be freeing and fun. I’d tell my kid things like,writing is important because you want to be able to express yourself and have your ideas written down and he would look at me like all he was hearing was blah, blah, blah.
Nothing I said or did provided much to convince my son of the joys of writing or to the fact that it is a necessary life skill.
There are two types of kids: those who love to write and those who would rather endure water torture than to sit down and write a few sentences. For the parents of kids who love to write, we see you. We know you are awesome but please leave for the sake of parental morale and come back for the next topic. For the rest of you, I feel you. I spent years handing my son crayons that he mistakenly confused as Nerf bullets and would throw them around the room.
I did a few things to ensure my son was able to write when he was developmentally ready. I made sure he knew the basic mechanics of writing. I used Handwriting Without Tears to teach my kid to quickly be able to write letters and words and eventually moving onto sentences. I love HWT and recommend the program however, there are many great workbooks out there if this program isn ‘t for you. I also had him spend ten minutes a day on spelling and word study from a word study book so that when he wanted to begin writing he would have the basics in place. Next, I needed to give him a reason to write.
What’s your kid’s motivation to write? We aren’t donkeys but a shiny carrot really does work for kicking writing into gear. My kid loves to dance and nature. I built a blog for him and a few of the kids I’m working with to have a reason to write. They’re making “how to”videos and “all about” videos on things that are important to them like doing the coffee grinder, skateboarding and their pet hamsters. The kids are writing ‘how to’ and “all about” pieces in order to make the website accessible to all kids and they’re excited about it. They want to write because they have a purpose and an audience. Once my son and the kids had their website going, my son started writing all the time because he now LOVES to write. He’s currently working on a comic book.