Un-adult-erated value: why your kids should keep a lockdown diary

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Un-adult-erated value: why your kids should keep a lockdown diary

Recording their lives will give children something to do now, and it will also be a vital document for the future

Victoria Lambert

Has there ever been a better time to suggest your child keeps a diary? A chance to record the situation in 2020 when the world changed in ways unimaginable. Think of them looking back in 30 years and flicking through what they ate, watched and wore. The quarrels they had, the secrets they garnered, the school lessons that were somehow carried on.

And, for once, they have no reason not to do so. They have, quite demonstrably, all the time in the world.

Hand your child a book to start writing in and you could be giving them a gift that will long outlast you. But it’s not just your child who will benefit from keeping a diary; future generations will be thankful, too. Social diaries have been the bedrock of history for centuries, from the pillow books written by the ladies of the Japanese court in about 1,000AD, to Samuel Pepys’s comprehensive record of London life in the 1660s. More relatable for young adults, perhaps, are the diaries written during World War 1 and 2: The Journal of a Disappointed Man by Wilhelm Barbellion (the nom-de-plume of Bruce Cummings who died at 28), The Diary of Lena Mukhina: A Girl's Life in the Siege of Leningrad and, of course, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank...

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