Anxiety-Reducing Art Therapy Prompts to Try Out With Your Kids

No one likes to see their little one stressed. Having a child who suffers from anxiety means you’ve undoubtedly explored many options, including everything from physical activity to talk therapy. But have you considered adding art therapy prompts to list of your go-to soothing and grounding methods?

Related story

Busy Philipps on Her ADHD Re-Diagnosis, Anxiety & Aging

“Art therapy is a wonderful therapeutic tool for kids specifically because it’s the easiest way they have to express themselves when they haven’t learned the vocabulary or communication skills to accurately express their complex emotions,” Manuel J. Cantu, MA, LPC-Associate, tells SheKnows. “It is helpful because it is a creative outlet that can map out what a child is going through and can in turn help us adults know what questions we need to ask or follow up with.”

The reason why art therapy works so well for kids, adds Jennifer Ann Jensen, a.k.a. Oefy, an art therapist with over twenty years of experience, is because of “the interactive and sensory nature of the process. Utilize fingers, and hands, and coordinate with eyes to use the art materials,” Jensen says. “It allows the younger person some autonomy and independence throughout the process while exploring their interests: for example, choosing the colors, materials, and direction of the project.”

Cantu notes that it’s important to know whether your kids struggle with expressive arts and are highly self-critical before you try the above. “You might want a simpler prompt that doesn’t require too much of them and won’t make them shut down,” he says. Prompts should ideally make a child’s beliefs, thoughts, fears, or values clear as they depict what’s going on in their life, such as family or school. One thing you shouldn’t do, according to Cantu, is to force a child to draw or talk about something they don’t feel ready to share, or assume that a certain picture or other artistic depiction has a specific meaning before the child has a chance to explain.

If you need some inspiration to get started and get the creative part of your brain going, Cantu and Jensen share some anxiety-reducing art therapy prompts to try out with your kids.

Source: Read Full Article