We're really glad you stopped by! If you are looking for creative parenting support and tools to help your child, we can help.
This blog is no longer active, so if you want lots of parenting tools and tips visit
visit us at www.thecreativityqueen.com

The Creativity Queen

Art Therapy Personal Exploration:"Selfish vs. Self love"

"Selfish vs. Self love"

Have you ever been called selfish? It's a weighted word that can quickly induce guilt. Interesting enough, as adults we tend to inflict it upon ourselves and those we love quite readily. When we claim that someone is being selfish aren't we just expressing our dislike of how they are handing a situation? Aren't we just passing judgement on what someone else is doing?

If we act from a place of being "selfless", and giving others what they need, aren't we acting like martyrs or victims- and doesn't that lead to being resentful when these acts are not appreciated? It is so easy to default to these cycles of giving to others and believing our needs are secondary, that we should act "selfless". Yet, it is inevitable we will end up resentful and hurt that these pious deeds have gone unnoticed.

Can we shift to thinking about self love instead?-To the realization that when we take care of our own needs we do not ever put another person in the position of trying to meet our needs or that we are responsible for their needs. How freeing!

When we respect ourselves enough to listen to and nurture our own needs first we can be there for others in ways we never could when we are depleted, tired, overwhelmed, or just plain EMPTY.

So here's a playful art activity to help you shift from thinking your behaviors are selfish to self loving. Take a large piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side of the page use markers, crayons, or any art materials that you desire, and create images or words of things you do, think, or feel that you consider "selfish". On the other side of the paper create images or words of things you do, think, or feel, that are self-loving, self-nurturing, or self-honoring. Reflect on what you have learned about yourself through this process of self-discovery.

Art Therapy and Children: Do You Rescue?

There are tremendous opportunities to learn and grow and at times this involves allowing those that we love to make choices and learn from natural consequences. There's a term for those who hover over their children's choices, helicopter parenting. These parents rush in solve the problems for their children, without allowing them an opportunity to lean and grow from their experiences. Many parents are unsure of how to support their children and are fearful of not doing the "right" thing. The feature article provides some insights to help guide you as you support and encourage your loved ones (of all ages).
If you have a relationship of any kind, with a spouse, friend, parent, or child, then you have encountered someone else making a decision you would never dream of doing. There is pain seeing that person making a choice your know in your heart is just not the "right" decision for them. Ironically, the closer we are to the person, the more we believe we know what's right for them, and often we will make comments or demands upon them, based upon our knowing what's best.

We would never dream of telling our co-worker what they are wearing is wrong and they should change, yet it becomes almost a duty to be hypercritical about what our spouse or children are wearing or doing. Often when tasks that are delegated to those in the household are not completed, we jump in to d
o it. Heaven forbid your child wear wrinkled clothes to school because they left their laundry on the floor.
Most parents who rescue fear what others might think or that things won't get done exactly right, or if they don't control the situation their child may fail or get hurt. Most people rescue because they love those around them and they don't want to see them hurt. However, rescuing sets up a whole new set of problems. The person you rescue doesn't get to learn from their actions. They don't learn how to self-correct, or make changes when they are off course, since they have had someone doing that for them. They don't learn how to overcome obstacles and when they do arise (and they always do) they are unprepared. I've had many young adults in my office who just didn't know how to handle tough stuff because their parents did it for them when they were growing up.

The question that most people ask is how do t
hey know when to intervene. The first question to ask, is it a safety issue? Meaning if you don't intervene will someone get hurt physically? If it is a safety issue, step in and set a boundary. All other issues are not black and white. I love to challenging parents to talk out the choices and consequences with their children. For tasks such as homework and household chores personal accountability works wonders. Have a neutral discussion (without getting emotional about the topic) and develop a contract to help identify what will be done and what are the consequences. Contracts do work, when they are done right, meaning they are respectful of each person's needs and there is an incentive to change for both parties.
For things such as bullying at school or children who are having emotional problems a more supportive role is necessary. Parents often step in too early and attempt to stop bullying, which may cause more social problems for their children. Brainstorm with your child solutions, allow them to test some out before you become involved. If things continue to be a problem and it becomes a psychological safety issue, there may be a need for more direct involvement.

Encourage your child to take part in choosing their consequences. If they have done something wrong, ask them to come up with the consequences. You'll be amazed at how they will learn from this, with less tantrums and more personal accountability.

Here's the important part to remember, those who rescue others become resentful. They will do, and do, and do, and then finally get upset that everyone treats them disrespectfully and takes advantage of them. Stop the cycle of rescuing so you don't fall into this pattern, and you allow others an opportunity to learn.

Here's a creative activity to help you identify times when you rescue. Take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side write the word rescue and on the right side write the word support. Fill in the page with images and words of times when you rescue (what you say and do) and what it might look like if you supported that person instead.