Today it feels natural to talk about what I know, and would recommend, about writing as a form of communication to help you or the family during these crazy times.
I often suggest writing things down and I will often use writing as a form of communication in sessions. There is a lot of emphasis on communicating verbally, and little appreciation for how hard that actually is. Throughout my career working with Children, I have promoted writing as a form of reflection or reaching out. Sometimes even using a ‘questions and answers’ book for children/teenagers, to talk to adults or ask questions without having to manage the difficulty of face-to-face interaction. An amazing starting block to develop assertiveness and verbal expression. Writing can also be very personal and thought provoking, so with little children I highly suggest keeping the topics positive and light and not at all intrusive. With older children and adults, then it is obviously up to them: but please respect it maybe a private process and may not be shared.
So with the current crisis in mind: keeping a journal for either yourself or your child, could be a multi-useful tool, and a very positive one.
For example: Keeping a journal of emotions: This is a great way of getting things out of your head and onto paper. Making the thoughts real. Remember to be mindful of ending on a positive where possible.
Self-esteem journaling: Writing 3 positive things about yourself each day. And saying them out loud into a mirror. Important to say them to yourself and if possible start the day with reminding yourself what you wrote the day before. Say them with conviction. question any self-doubt, explore through writing.
An Art journal: I am currently doing an Art journal around grief. Use an old book, or a book that you are drawn to, and go crazy (Lots of inspirational ideas on the internet if you wanted to search). Remember to take the time to think about what you have created. Maybe write words and sentences to accompany the art.
We have seen many posts of gratitude jars or gratitude journals. (I also have a jar I use 😊) Writing each evening 5 things, you or your child are grateful for, whether a wider spectrum, or from the day. Could be the same things. This can then be discussed (or not). With little children, use Art to look into what they are grateful for, remind them of the positives. Repeat back to them any positives things they say about themselves with agreement. Lovely exercise to do together.
Writing can be very powerful, especially in the evening before bed. Maybe have a specific amount of reflective time with your child and look at the positives of the day, or, as an individual, to remind ourselves about our amazingness, or to help us reflect on where and why are not quite content right now.
Lots of ideas to run with, but the core of this is the idea of utilising writing as a form of communication, and a way to help us to own the things we say in our minds. Make them real, not just a thought.
(I have included a few worksheets for some basic inspiration, but obviously, just run with whatever you feel comfortable doing)
Hope any or some of this has helped get creative during this time.