Guidance for Parents
What is Art Therapy?
Put simply, Art Therapy is the use of artistic methods to enhance positive mental health. Being creative can foster healing and mental well-being in both children and adults. Art keeps us all well. It can aid recovery from illness and injury and support us to live longer, healthier lives.
Some children may find it hard to express their thoughts and feelings verbally, Art Therapy uses art as the main form of expression and communication and in doing some of the techniques at home they can also be super fun and fulfilling for both you and your child!
Children go through a huge range of emotional challenges from moving home, changing school or a new baby arriving in the house, Art Therapy is a great way to calm and relax your child. Some children may have more complex behavioral and emotional needs and the same art techniques are applied in these situations.
At Dinky Artist we have used Art Therapy techniques at home with our children for years, but we are not trained art therapists. We work with a range of charities including the Teapot Trust who specialise in Art Therapy, who we support through donations of profits and other credible sources to bring you these resources.
Teapot Trust’s Art Therapist Tips on Supporting Your Child
Your child’s feelings have an impact on their daily function including their behaviour, productivity and creative expression. The Teapot Trusts Art Therapists have passed along some very helpful tips and reminders when interacting with your child to promote their positive wellbeing:
- Be aware: Pay attention to your child's reactions and behaviours from day to day as they indicate how they are feeling at a particular time
- Identify causes: Help your child recognise the causes that underlie the feelings they’re experiencing
- Communicate: Talking about emotions with others can be an effective way to deal with them, so make it clear that you will listen carefully to what they have to say, and offer comfort when needed
- Value self-reflection: Model and reiterate the benefits of thinking things through
- Encourage resilience: Help children develop the ability to deal effectively and creatively when things don’t go right, change, or transition
- Relationship building: Because relationships with family and friends affect the way we feel, it’s important to encourage children to build connections. Help children experience opportunities for active play, sharing, collaboration, and lots of peer and family time
- Self-esteem: Children often face uncertainties and have to cope with challenging environments or situations. Reinforcement and encouragement can strengthen children’s self-esteem and instill feelings such as optimism
- Remember the essentials: There are certain non-negotiables that sustain their well-being: safety, unconditional love, sensible and fair guidance, connectivity, honesty, and understanding and respecting their feelings
Positive Wellbeing for Parents
Your mental wellbeing is equally as important as your child's, because in order to look after children, you need to take care of your own self. The Teapot Trust’s Art Therapists have provided here some guidance on how you can keep positive and happy. They have highlighted some important things to remember:
- Share worries and seek out support from friends and family, it’s very good to talk
- As much as possible, live a healthy lifestyle
- Fit in time to do things which make you happy
- Make time for you to relax
- Try mindfulness, yoga, or meditation
- Take up a creative hobby that you can use to express yourself
- Give yourself the time out you are encouraging your child to have
- Keep informed about topics that concern your children
- Never stop talking and listening through good and bad