Scrapbooking for Boys: Journaling Tips

by Lain Ehmann on October 13, 2010

Simon_Shek/Flickr

The other day, we talked about scrapbooking for boys and some product and design hints. I’ve had a couple of questions about journaling for older boys; in particular, how to get them to take part in the writing process.

Trust me, I know what a pain it can be to try to get your son to complete his English homework, for which he is receiving a grade and which possibly may affect his whole future… let alone talking him into writing some deep and meaningful words for your scrapbook pages!<
My suggestions:

  • Make it fun. Choose topics he’s going to enjoy, and select writing styles and prompts that are going to capture his interest. Mad Lib-style journaling is always a big hit in our house.
  • Make it short. Asking him to fill half a page with musings and heart-deep words is a sure-fire way to put a screeching halt to participation. Instead, ask him to provide just a few sentences, or even a few words (as in our Mad Libs suggestion)
  • Make it concrete. The males of the species have a harder time in general coming up with ephemeral, emotion-based words and descriptions. You’re much better off asking for his favorite dish at Thanksgiving dinner, rather than five reasons why he loves his little sister.
  • Make it light. Don’t take the journaling – or his answers – too seriously. If you ask him his favorite time in school and he replies, “3 PM,” go with it! If nothing else, it showcases his wit at this point in his life.
  • Maybe the most important thing to remember that his lack of journaling is not a reflection on your parenting — or your scrapbooking — prowess. It’s just part of raising a boy. :)

    P.S. If you’d like some more tips on journaling, check out the incredibly helpful book from Ella Publishing, Quick & Creative Quizzes by Angie Lucas and Wendy Smedley. It’s packed with fun quizzes that will have your son thinking more of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and less of his third-period history teacher.

    • http://chroniclesofasouthernscrapper.blogspot.com holly

      i have a 12 year old stepson so i can totally relate to these “older boy” struggles. one idea that i’ve enjoyed is using things they’ve already written (for school) and incorporating them into layouts. even in middle school, he often has journaling prompts and will write about things like what he may have done over the weekend, or his baseball games, his favorite sports teams, etc. if they aren’t things we can keep at home, i will scan/copy it from his notebook.

    • Jessicajmarshall

      Thanks Lain! I know this will come in handy in my future!

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