One of the very best ways to help your child gain an interest in writing is to have an interest yourself. And having an interest in reading doesn’t hurt either.
When I was growing up, we had books all over the house. My mother was a voracious reader and proud writer. Her aspirations and goals all centered about her becoming a published author of novels. And she made it too, for many years after her kids were all grown she wrote novel after novel all published and for sale in local book stores. Her dedication and diligence in working on her natural talent rubbed off on every one of her six children; we’re all big readers and writers.
It seems nothing is more inspirational to a child than seeing a parent take a serious interest in something such as reading and writing; just as growing up with parents that have little or no interest in reading or writing leads to kids that have very little interest either.
But just having an interest in something isn’t enough of course, parents also have to do things to not just try to get their kids interested, but to do so by using encouragement. It’s one thing to buy books you think your kids might like, or to ask them to write a story, or worse, to make them, it’s quite another to make like your kid has just reinvented the art of writing whenever they produce something and you get the honor of reading it. There is truly something to be said for taking a very serious interest in something a child does, especially if it’s something that will benefit them in the future, as writing will.
I believe the reason my brothers and sisters and I all found a love for writing is because when we were growing up, my mother always acted as if we’d given her the most precious gift when handing her a story; and then we beamed with pride when she’d find something good to say about what we’d written; and she always did. That was key I think, the fact that no matter what we wrote was there was always something in it that she could point to and tell us how great it was.
So, for my money, they best way to help your child with writing, is to make it a big part of your life and theirs, and then to praise them every step of the way.