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Building resilience and improving wellbeing through art.

art helps children build resilience and improve wellbeing

Building resilience and improving wellbeing through art is a wonderful way to foster high levels of flourishing in children.

What is resilience?

Resilience is the ability to adapt and bounce back in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant stressors. It is a process of positive adaptation despite challenging circumstances. Resilient individuals are able to cope with difficult situations and setbacks, and come out stronger on the other side.

Why is it important?

Resilience is important because it helps individuals to not only survive difficult situations, but also thrive in the face of adversity. It allows people to have a positive outlook and maintain their mental well-being even during tough times. Resilience also enables individuals to take control of their lives and overcome any obstacles that come their way.

Building resilience and improving wellbeing through art begins by providing children with what they need to discover the world of art. 

So, let’s discuss where to begin and how to encourage a love of art within your child.

Find a calm, comfortable area for the child to create their art.

It is important to create a peaceful and comfortable space for children to work on their art projects. This can help them relax, focus, and express themselves freely without distractions or discomfort.

Creating art is a form of meditation. The process of creative expression creates a doorway to explore aspects of self, including identity, spirituality, throughs, emotions, and conscious states. This also naturally fosters mindfulness and focus. Which is way a space without distraction is preferable. 

When setting up an area for your child’s artistic activities, consider the following factors:

      • A quiet environment: Avoid areas with loud external noises or too much activity close by that can be distracting.

      • Good lighting: Natural light is ideal and helps to showcase colours accurately. However, if that is not possible, make sure the area has sufficient artificial lighting.

      • A comfortable seating arrangement: Ensure your child is comfortable while creating their art by providing a suitable chair or cushion to sit on.

      • Adequate space: Allow enough room for your child to move around freely and comfortably while working on their art.
      • Accessible art supplies: Keep all necessary materials within reach, so your child doesn’t have to interrupt their creative flow by constantly getting up to retrieve items.
    Note: I have chosen some quality products that I thought may help your journey. As an Amazon associated I may receive a small commission on sales which does not affect the price to you.

     

    Provide a radio or CD player as an optional add in.

    Whether you child already has their own perfered music genre or not, music can be a wonderful addition to their art station. Music can be used in several ways when creating. Certain music can help the mind stay focused.

    Other music can be good for inspiring creativity through its ability to connect with the child emotionally. So make sure there is a CD player with a radio option available for them. Alternatively, you can access music via a YouTube connection.

    Give them a variety of materials to work with such as paints, markers, crayons, clay, etc and don't interfere with the process.

    Art is a form of self-expression and allowing children the freedom to create without strict guidelines or limitations can be beneficial for their development. So, by providing them with an assortments of mediums you will be creating self expression from the get go!

    As adults, we may have certain expectations or preconceived notions of the artistic process. This includes a personal worldview on what art should look like, but it is essential to let children explore and express themselves in their unique way. For example, you might think they should use a pencil to outline their artistic piece first. However, they want to use paint first. Or, you might be tempted to tell them to add this or that, or create this way or that way.

    By resisting the temptation to interfere you will give them complete artistic freedom to explore within. Once they get to this place it can bring them a strong sense of wellbeing. So don’t interfere – remember its not the process (or the work produced) that matters – it’s the journey into the self!

    As a parent, remember to maintain the focus on providing a space where your child can experience building resilience and improve wellbeing through art.

    To encourage further creativity and inner connection, try the following:

        • Encourage experimentation and don’t be afraid of messiness. Use a cover for the table and the floor if needed; and provide them with an art shirt.

        • Allow them to dictate the direction of their art without being overly critical or controlling. Remember the goal is to create a space where they can come to self-express and self-discover in a healthy way. So give them privacy (unless they are asking for you to join in).

      Faber Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils, Polychromos Colored Pencils, Pencils Set In Metal Tin, 120 Pieces Artist Pencils.
      Experiment with introducing even more mediums and techniques.

      Art is not limited to just drawing and painting, there are countless mediums and techniques for children to explore. Encourage your child to try new things and experiment with different materials such as clay, collage, photography, or even digital media. This not only keeps their creativity flowing but also helps them develop new skills and interests.

      To explore different mediums and techniques:

        • Provide the additional materials when you feel it’s time, or when the child prompts.

        • Take your child to local art museums or galleries to see different forms of art.

        • Sign them up for classes or workshops focused on specific mediums or techniques.

      Display their work – but don’t force them to share it!

      Art is a wonderful means of communicating. And displaying a Childs work can be a powerful way to remind them that they have accomplished something creativity that other people enjoy to look at. However, at times the ‘communication’ is just for private use – just like a diary!

        1. Yes, that’s right, many artists don’t show their work for years. Not just because showing your work can stifle your creativity, but more so because it just feels to private. For example, if we write in a dairy we don’t hold back and will fully express ourself and this can be really therapeutic and help us work through some pretty heavy stuff and art can give us that same experience.

        1. So make sure there’s clear communication between you can your child as to whether or not the work will be shown. And allow them to feel that it is perfectly ok for their work to remain private. This may become a really powerful vehicle for the teenager to experience their teenage years.

      Why not just give them a dairy?

      While a diary can be a great outlet for personal expression, art allows children to express themselves in a more visual and creative way. It also provides a tactile experience that can be satisfying and therapeutic. Additionally, creating art allows for exploration and experimentation with different materials and techniques, providing a sense of freedom and independence.

      Sometimes, children may not have the words to express themselves or their emotions. Art can be a powerful tool in helping them communicate and process their feelings. It allows for non-verbal expression and can serve as an outlet for any pent-up emotions or thoughts.

      Inspire them to use their art to communicate.

        • Ask your child to create something that represents how they are feeling or what is on their mind.

        • Use the artwork as a starting point for discussions about emotions and coping strategies.

        • Respect their privacy. If they choose not to share the meaning behind their art that’s ok. Just let them know you are always available to listen.

        • Building resilience and improving wellbeing through art – also becomes a way for your child to look reflect on their growth. And then share that with you.

      Encourage collaboration and sharing.

      Art can be a solitary activity. It can also be a great opportunity for children to collaborate and share ideas with others. Encourage your child to work on art projects with siblings, friends, or other family members. This not only fosters teamwork and social skills but also exposes them to different perspectives and techniques.

      To encourage collaboration:

        • Plan a family art night where everyone works on a project together.

        • Have your child and a friend create a joint artwork.

        • Participate in community art events or workshops.

        • Don’t focus on the final product. Instead, encourage your child to enjoy the process and explore their ideas without worrying about creating a perfect piece of art.

        • Ask open-ended questions. Instead of asking if they drew a certain object, ask them about their inspiration or what emotions they were trying to convey through their artwork. This promotes critical thinking and self-expression.

        • Encourage them to create for fun – while it’s great to display their work and receive praise, remind your child that creating art is also about having fun and expressing oneself. This takes the pressure off of creating a perfect piece and allows them to enjoy the process.
      Drafting Table Adjustable Art Desk - LifeSky Artist Drawing Table Glass Top with Stool Black

      By providing opportunities for your child to explore different mediums and techniques, you are fostering their creativity, expanding their skill set, and helping them develop a love for art. Additionally, you are encouraging them to think outside the box and express themselves in unique ways.

      Don’t be afraid to get messy and try new things with your child. You never know what they may discover or create! Remember to always support and praise their efforts, as this will boost their confidence and encourage them to continue exploring their creativity through art. So let your child’s imagination run wild and watch as they blossom into a budding artist. The possibilities are endless when it comes to art, so keep providing opportunities for your child to experiment and grow in their artistic abilities. Together, you and your child can create a world full of color, imagination, and self-expression. Happy creating!

      Provide inspiration

      If your child is struggling to come up with ideas for their art, offer some suggestions or show them examples from books or online. This can spark their creativity and give them new ideas to explore. You can also take them to art museums or galleries to expose them to different styles and techniques, which may inspire their own artwork.

      You can also encourage your child to use their surroundings as inspiration – nature, people, animals, and everyday objects can all be transformed into beautiful works of art with a little imagination. Encouraging your child to find inspiration in their environment also helps them to appreciate and see the beauty in the world around them.

      Set aside time for art – with busy schedules and academic demands, it can be easy to let art fall by the wayside. However, setting aside dedicated time for your child to create art shows them that it is a valued activity and gives them the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the creative process without any distractions. This also helps to develop a routine and habit for creating art regularly.

      >>One way to do this is to reduce gaming time.<<

      Increasing wellbeing through art

      Encourage self-expression – art is a form of self-expression and it’s important to let your child explore their own ideas and feelings through their artwork. Don’t worry about the end result being perfect or looking a certain way – focus on the process and how your child expresses themselves through their art.

      Encourage imagination and storytelling – art is a great way for children to express their imaginations and tell stories. Encourage your child to create characters, settings, and narratives through their artwork. This not only helps with their creativity but also improves their language skills.

      Building resilience and improve wellbeing through art is a long journey for your child. And as a parent it involves commitment to always providing the opportunity and encouragement for the child. However, once the connection is made and your child is enjoying the process of self-expression, you will have provided them with an amazing outlet for coming home to themselves.

      This journey can transform a teenagers experience and help them grow into resilience and well balanced adults that will be grateful for the opportunities you provided them.

      Note: As mentioned I have chosen some popular items from Amazon to help you get started. As an Amazon associated I may earn a commission from some purchases which does not affect the price to you. 

      Inspire them by providing amazing YouTube artist links just like this one…

      Listen to a lesson plan. In this recording Elizabeth Mulhane shares how easy it is to teach mindfulness and meditation to children aged 7 to 12 years, using art and sacred geometry.

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