Journaling 101: Journals Teens Can Do and Prompts to Get Them Started


After perking up your teens’ interest in journaling, don’t leave them stumped about what to do next. Though it’s best not to pry into their journaling habits [and being a parent doesn’t give you the right to read whatever they’re writing without their consent!], it’s okay to give them a soft guide on their first steps towards keeping their diaries.

With that said, here are a few journal ideas to try, ready-made journals perfect for teenagers and prompts you can use to get your writing.

Ready-Made Journals for Teens

Teenagers aren’t usually big on writing, and for some, a blank journal page may prove daunting. These ready-made guided journals already have prompts that will direct their thoughts yet still giving them the freedom to reflect on their answers and create something in response.


Connect the Thoughts (Dot Your Life. Free Your Mind)

This guided journal for six years old and up is excellent for beginners. Every page has a background made to look like a graph paper with nine dots. Teens can write, draw or even scrapbook-style their thoughts – whatever suits their fancy – in bullet/dot forms then connect them to each other.


MEMOrandom (A Journal for Lists, Memories, and Miscellany)

This guided journal has random prompts that inspire short or lengthy answers which are appealing to all ages and gender. Its pages are designed similarly to that of a scrapbook, so teens have the freedom to answer the prompts however they want to.


Q&A a Day for Me (A 3-Year Journal for Teens)

If your teenager has a flair for writing, then this is something he/she will be glad to have. Each journal page covers a day with one question-prompt and three spaces for the answers – one space per year. This set-up allows teens to see and reflect on how their answers have changed or not for every year.


Do You Know Who You Are?

Fit for teens 13 to 17 years old, Do You Know Who You Are is a great reflective journal for teens and encourages self-exploration, self-love, and self-acceptance — characters that teenagers need to develop but are the most threatened during this specific life phase.


Kinds of Freestyle Journals Suited for Teens

On the other hand, some teenagers value independence so much they want the freedom to freestyle everything else. If your teen is one of them, let him/her have his/her way. The least you can do is gift him/her with a notebook he/she can use for journaling – something that’s hard-covered [they go from $5 up in price] and a set of colored pens to jumpstart the activity.

Encourage him/her to freely use his/her journal in whatever way he/she sees fit — write on it, do drawings or paintings, put pictures in, or scrapbook.  The ideas are endless.

If your teen doesn’t want to do the straightforward, day-chronicling journal but doesn’t know where to start, inspire him/her with these other journal themes:

  • Dream Journal – A diary to jot down your dreams in — the ones you have in your sleep and what you think about them. You can also put here your dream goals and ambitions in life, the things you want to do and plan to do in the future.
  • Fantasy World Journal – For the CS Lewises, JRR Tolkiens and JK Rowlings in the making, those who dream of entirely different and fantastical worlds with their languages and cultures. You can fill your fantasy world journal with the maps of your make-believe worlds, make a dictionary perhaps and even draw your characters.
  • Art/Doodle Journal – You might be artistically-inclined and express yourself more freely with drawings rather than words. Or you just find words boring that you want to do something with your journal blank page other than write on it. If so, this is the kind of journal best suited for you.
  • Poem Journal – The perfect diary for poet wannabes who have the knack for rhyming words. Or you can fill yours with poems and song lyrics that best describe how your day went, what your feelings are and the things you have in mind.

Simple Diary Entry Turned Special

Journal writing prompts a new and exciting dimension to simple, event-chronicling journaling. What’s more, you can make it a bonding moment with your teen. Both of you can set aside a few minutes at the end of every day where you get to ask your teenager the quick question and, in a way, talk to him/her. A lot of internet sites offer free creative writing prompts fit for tweens and teens so you can look into those and use the ones you believe fit your child’s personality.

While there’s just something about pen and paper that no technological device can mimic, journaling isn’t limited to the former. Your teen can use whatever gadget available he/she has to start his/her journaling habits.