There is help for your child’s writing difficulties
One of the most painful roadblocks parents of unique children face is helping them overcome talking and writing difficulties. Communication helps us connect with each other. More importantly, though, it helps us connect to ourselves. Developing a ‘voice’ helps children give shape to their identities, feelings, and desires. Writing difficulties can often hinder their self-expression.
Writing is about storytelling
We all know that learning to write is about more than being able to spell your name and keep the letters on the lines. It’s about storytelling. And if your kids are like the ones that we work with, they have BIG stories to tell. Helping them overcome their writing difficulties will help them get those stories out.
Here are a few exercises you can try to help your child move away from constant erasing, nib-breaking, and page-ripping. Here’s how you can help them build a more relaxed relationship with their writing implements.
Tips to help your child overcome writing difficulties
1. Change paper. Try using thick, wide-ruled paper to help your kid feel less stressed about staying in the lines.
2. Switch to pencil. If your child is currently using pen, try switching to a thick pencil with a wide nib. The benefits are:
- Because they can erase, there’s less pressure to get everything right
- The thick pencil and wide nib make the pencil easier to hold and the nib less likely to break
3. Add grip. Sometimes pens, pencils, or smart-pens can feel small, slippery, or hard in a child’s hand. Adding a comfy grip could be just the answer.
4. Try typing. If your child rejects pen-to-paper style writing, hope is not lost! They may just be better suited for another method. Try switching to typing, or even dictation.
5. Consider an easel. Sometimes changing implements (chalk vs. pencil), changing posture (sitting vs. standing), or even changing the position of the writing ‘canvas’ (lying flat or standing at eye level), can make a huge difference. So, consider trying an easel that offers paper on one side and erasable surface on the other.
6. Make it fun. Try adding some fun implements to the mix. How about colorful crayons or markers? Or even glitter glue. Imagine how much fun you could have together tracing the outlines of letters with beautiful, sparkly, glitter glue!
Each child learns differently. And a little creativity can go a long way in helping your child adjust to learning new skills and using new tools.
Sometimes, writing difficulties aren’t about comfort or posture or implements, though. Sometimes, anxiety, ADHD, and just general, pent-up energy can cause children to have trouble sitting still long enough to write. In other cases, children might be picking up on a parent’s frustration or anxiety around their writing difficulties. It’s totally natural to be anxious and concerned for your child, but it can have an effect on them. If any of this sounds familiar, these articles might help you develop some tools for encouraging your child to relax and focus …
Resources to help with relaxation and focus
- 5 Ways to Help Your Rigid Child Relax
- Parenting Power Struggles: How to Recover
- Learning the Skill of Storytelling
- How to Reframe the “Bad Mom” Story to Feel Better About Your Parenting
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