Journaling is often a very effective form of therapy and conflict resolution for a teenager. It can be relaxing and help them release the stress of their daily lives as well as provide them with insight to their problems and the world going on around them. Journaling can help teens make sense of the changes in their lives and the lives of close friends and family and it can also serve as a grounding sort of practice - a way or releasing the events of the day without acting out or falling into a bad behavior of sorts. Journaling can help teenagers open up to the possibilities of their life, assist them in making better decision, give them a fresh perspective to any changes that might be occurring around them and more than anything give them a bit of an idea of who they are and who they want to be.
For a teen that has experienced abuse, addiction, or some other kind of trauma in their life journaling can give them a new perspective on the incident and can even help them come away with forgiveness for themselves and others. Journaling can also help release pent up emotions regarding such an incident and can serve as a very useful look for a therapist into what might be going on with that teenager if the teen chooses to share their journal with them. Teenagers can use journal as a regular exercise to handle the complications of such a problem and, in the case of an addiction, a journal can provide a regular support and a reminder of the things that teenager has learned about themselves.
If a teenager in your life is struggling with even simple day to day issues it might be wise to get them a journal and explain the practice of how it works and how it can benefit their lives. Show them why it’s important to write daily in it and that the journal is yours to do with what they wish. If they want to catalog their daily events then they should feel free to do that - if they would rather just express their thoughts and feelings then that’s perfectly right as well. There is no wrong way to go about journaling and because of that this is a way that a teenager can feel like they can be themselves without having to conform to the ideals of the standards of anyone else around them. Their journaling habits don’t have to be fancy or even well-written, so long as they are honest and truly theirs.
Take the time to introduce your teen to journaling and look up some journaling exercises that might be beneficial for them in their lives and see if you can’t create some good results with your teen. It might also be helpful for you to do the journaling exercises with them or as a family in order to help them be a little more receptive to the ideas you’re trying to introduce.