How to Encourage Teens to Write
When school is closed and everyone is supposed to study and work from home, many teens spend their time lazying around, watch YouTube, or play video games. You’d think with all that spare time, they can at least squeeze an hour or two a day to do something useful, like writing.
4 Secrets to Motivating Teens to Write
Many parents can vouch the difficulty in motivating their teens to do anything productive with their time. If you’re one of them and you in need help in getting your teens to start writing, then you need to follow these tips:
#1. Let them pick the topic, writing style, and tone
Teens perform better in a positive environment, right? Now it’s time to put that knowledge into practice. It’s easier to get your teens writing creatively when you give the freedom to pick the topic. Remember that they’re not writing for you.
Also give them the freedom to pick their own writing style and tone. Most teens write to get it out of their system. More often than not, they won’t be writing in a style you’re so accustomed and neither will their tone. You know what? That’s great!
Encourage your teens to find their own voice. It will do wonders for their self-confidence.
#2. Stop correcting every little mistake
When you’re obsessed with spelling and grammar, your teens will hate writing. Don’t lose sight of your goal. Why did you want your teens to write in the first place? To have them practice grammar? That’s not it, isn’t it?
It’s time for you to learn to accept imperfection. Just let them write their heart out and save the spelling correction for much later. You can also let them fix their own mistakes. Point them to a helpful tool such as the online spelling and grammar checker. It’s easy to use and your kids can do it if and when they want to.
#3 Encourage them to read
Perhaps your teens are having writer’s block. There’s nothing wrong with that. Even the most established writers often agonize over a word. One easy fix is to let them read. By reading other people’s work they can get new ideas easily.
#4. Start listening
When was the last time you’ve had a good conversation with your teens? Now is a good time, you know?
Ask your teens why they’re so reluctant to write, but spend more time listening than asking questions. Let them explain their ideas and opinions. Go off-topic and ask how they’re feeling about current events. While you’re at it, remind them gently on how they can pour what’s on their mind into a written form.
OK, that’s all for our simple steps to encourage teens to write. Last but not least, please remember to keep your expectations reasonable. Expecting your teens to flesh out an award-winning novel on their first try is illogical. Let them take baby steps and motivate them to write more. They’ll get there eventually. But even if they don’t, just help them to write better. That’s what good parents do.