When it comes to teenagers handwriting skills, most parents will agree that it all starts off well enough.
Primary school children are given regular lessons in how to write properly and neatly in a uniform manner. They are regularly assessed and corrected where necessary. Where it goes wrong is through the teenage years. This is when kids develop their own style and way of doing things – often in direct contradiction to what they’ve been taught. So can teenagers really improve their handwriting?
Teenagers handwriting commonly starts getting faster in order to get down on paper all the information they’re being given. This can give rise to sloppy handwriting which only they and they alone can read!
Bad habits can develop and bad habits – as comfortable as they may be – can be difficult to get out of.
The good news is that, providing there are no neurological factors affecting brain function and cognitive behaviour, habits can change. This is even true when it comes to teenagers’ handwriting!
Research carried out by University College London found that it takes on average around 66 days for a new habit to take root. It stands to reason then that it will take a similar amount of time to break a habit.
It is never too late to change a child’s behaviour and thinking in order to persuade them that neat, legible handwriting can be a good thing.
How to Help Teenagers Improve Their Handwriting.
It will probably take a while to persuade a teenager that they need help in the first place.
However, what you have to remember is that the young brain is extremely adaptable and open to learning new things. Even in older people, where the brain has suffered a stroke for example, it is possible to re-learn how to do everyday things.
There’s no reason why a healthy teenager can’t do the same in order to improve handwriting.
Firstly, look at the pens they’re using. A cheap biro often needs greater pressure to make the ink flow out and they erratically run out of ink.
To make handwriting look good a decent pen such as a roller ball, or even a fountain pen, is needed. This will help a teenager’s handwriting flow naturally and help them take pride in their work.
Technicalities like conformity of letter sizing and spacing are easy enough to explain to teenagers. It can be pointed out that writing in a slower, less frenetic and uniformly neat way is preferable. This will enable others to be able to read it.
Here are some tips for handwriting practice for teenagers.
What a disinterested teenager really needs to know is why they should go to all this effort when they could just type instead.
For instance, pointing out to them that there will be times when typing is not an option and they will need to be able to communicate via writing things down may work. What will also hit home is helping them to understand that the appearance of a person’s handwriting says a lot about their character. It may also be assessed in job interviews where legible writing is an important part of the job.