Q: My second grader balks every time I try to get her to write even the shortest paragraph. Should I push her?

Students of all ages and grade levels typically resist writing at some point and the reasons are varied. Sometimes it’s because the assignment doesn’t feel relevant to them, so it seems like busy work. Other times, it’s because they are highly active by nature and writing is a more sedentary activity. Many times it is because they have a fear of failure, and when they compare their own early writing efforts to yours or someone else’s, they feel inadequate.

Overcoming Writing Resistance

There are solutions for all of these issues, though. To help your child make a better connection with their writing, be sure to give them assignments that line up with their personal interests. Some active children may find typing on the computer more engaging than making letters on paper, so don’t hesitate to have them use the keyboard when they have grown weary of their pencil. In fact, Time4Writing’s online writing courses could be a good option as the instruction and assignments line up with students’ interests and the very nature of the program requires using a keyboard.

Tie Writing to Personal Interests

Finally, the solution for almost any perfectionism fears in students is to validate their frustrations (“I can understand how frustrating it is to not be able to write exactly the way you want. That happens to me a lot.”) and then try to integrate games, such as the ones we’ve outlined in Ready to Have More Writing Fun?, into your writing practice. This takes away the stress of “getting it right” and reminds kids that they can just have fun with writing too!