Keep in mind that some children would benefit from being “banned” from writing anything negative and would be better off with a gratitude journal. Examples: clinically depressed, prone to self injury, reported thoughts of suicide.
Others who lean more toward MAD than SAD need a place to put their anger. A journal in secret is a better option than smarting off and yelling at a parent on a consistent basis. Write it all down. Don’t question, condemn, deny, justify or defend. Write it down, scratch it out. Work things around. I work with these clients that have strengths in their ability to verbalize their feelings and remind them that they have me to tell about the unfair things in life, save it for me! Don’t yell it at your dad.
Teaching children to use a journal to express their frustrations and share with people they trust is a great coping skill that they can take with them for the rest of their lives. It also helps develop insight into why and what makes them feel.
Tell parents to keep out!