How can a child who can talk all day long become resistant, grumpy and generally unhappy when given a writing assignment? What’s so hard about writing?
Most kids who don’t like to write think they just aren’t good at it and it is no fun. The key is to give kids tools to express their thoughts on paper along with lots of encouragement on what they did right! Given effective strategies and positive feedback, many reluctant writers will blossom into authors.
Heather Radar talks about using “wows and wonders” to encourage kids in her article “Coaching Reluctant Writers” for ChoiceLiteracy (click here to read). Wows for, “Wow, this part is great,” and wonders for “hmmmmm……I wonder what you could do to make this part even better?”
Everyone likes to do things they feel proficient with so a little praise can go a long way in getting your child to write more. But the praise needs to be specific. Tell them exactly what you think is good and why. Guide them gently to a revision by saying something like, “Gee, your ideas are so good. You do seem to use ‘he said’ a lot. I wonder if there are other words you could use that mean the same thing as ‘said’ so you can make your story more interesting?”
Who knows? Maybe your child will be a published author someday!