Parenting Your Child Writer
Every parent would love to have a Pulitzer prize-winning child. How do you foster your child’s writing skills to produce a writer?
Back to basics
1. A strong vocabulary is the first step. Your child should not only be able to guess a word when given the definition, but should also be able to define words. Once a definition is established, move toward the use of synonyms.
2. Establish the practice of using correct grammar. All of the flowery words in the world are just words unless you can put them together coherently. Structure is as important to a piece of writing, creative or factual, as is the content.
3. Practice. Writing everyday for a young child may be too strenuous, but is certainly not for a teen writer. Just as with any other art, good writing takes practice.
The Next Phase
4. Allow you child to examine his imagination and creative skills. Provide an environment which stimulates his curiosity. Let him know there are no boundaries to where his writing can take him.
5. Enter your child’s work into contests. Begin with contests into which her work already fits. Then, move to contests which require writing on particular subjects or within more stringent guidelines.
6. Seed the beginning of larger work. Whether your child’s propensity is poetry or fiction, have them begin the epic work which may one day open untold doors for him.
Most of all, have faith in your child. The books and poems are pieces of the child’s soul he has chosen to share with you. Relish these moments.
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2011
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