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This blog is no longer active, so if you want lots of parenting tools and tips visit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

Using art therapy to help your child (and yourself) when problems arise!

I had an amazing and inspiring story told to me recently and I wanted to share it with you. If you have ever experienced a challenge or a setback you may have found yourself overwhelmed and confused. As a parent if you have seen your child encounter an obstacle you may have watched as they fell part emotionally trying to figure it out. We all deal with things in a different way; there is no right (or wrong) way to feel when we encounter adversity, however we have a choice what to do in these situations. A mom I know shared with me her daughter's story and they gave me permission to share it with you.

The mom noted her daughter, "had a huge bombshell yesterday morning, and will be resolving the issue over the next week. The college she was attending didn't announce which majors they were dropping until yesterday, and she found out that hers is being dropped. She would have 2 years to complete it, but that can't be done. She had it all mapped out already, and knows that she needs 5 semesters. At first she was pretty upset, but she rebounded quickly. Her choice is changing her major or transferring. There are less than 100 schools that offer the major in the country, and all would be quite costly. Within a few hours she found a related major that should work with what she already has taken, and will let her pursue the same field. Her last comment was that maybe it will actually open more doors that I don't even know about yet". The mom remarked, "I was amazed at the resiliency she had, because she has been so focused in her studies"!

What can we all learn from this remarkable story of graceful resilience? That we all encounter obstacles in life and we are the ones who choose what we decide to do with our experiences. As parents you can allow your child to learn and grow from their experiences. Protecting them from scrapes and tears will not serve them in the long run and sometimes adversity shows us just how remarkable we truly are!

Change is good and we are planning some positive changes over the summer, so keep checking back! I hope the story and the feature article inspires you when you encounter an opportunity for change.

Feature Article: "When you encounter an obstacle what do you do?"

We all want to teach children to be resourceful and resilient. As adults we see the necessity of learning how to cope with difficulties and find the strength and resources to overcome adverse situations. No matter who you are, and how you were raised, there will be times when you encounter problems and you must decide what to do.

Obstacles are opportunities in disguise. Understanding this statement may help you the next time your child (or you) encounters a problem. When your child encounters a problem they are building up their natural abilities to create solutions and figure out how to do or think differently. Our "emergency response system " to the problems we encounter starts to be developed in childhood. If a child learns to get their needs met by a specific behavior they will continue that behavior. Even if they do not get their needs met they may repeat the same behaviors due to learned helplessness.

Think about your own moments when you've struggled with a problem you have no control over. What type of behavior did you exhibit? When this happened did you melt down in tears, stuff your feelings, push through the obstacle, blame others, act helpless, or act out? If you've had these moments you've probably slipped into childlike thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. I'm guessing that you didn't have a parent or adult that modeled appropriate ways to get your needs met or how to communicate what you needed. Although we've all had these moments we can teach children a different way to cope with adversity.

Here are a few things you can do:

1. Lovingly let them struggle

Yup! Sometimes when you jump in to help too quickly you take away an opportunity for your child to learn how to overcome the problem. Unless it is a safety issue, give your child some space to figure it out before you step in. Do this in a gentle loving manner.

2. Offer support not solutions

Rather than jumping in and coming up with answers for them allow your child a chance to talk about their options. Just by listening you allow them an opportunity to figure things out on their own. This works wonderfully with teens!

3. Let them know you love them

Sometimes their solutions will be different than yours. That's OK. They are learning to figure it out in their own way. Reinforce that you love them even when you may not love their choices.

An art activity for you :

As adults when we encounter obstacles and revert back to childlike behaviors we have an opportunity for a "do-over". We can give ourselves what we didn't get as children. Pull out the finger paints or some messy art materials the next time you feel overwhelmed by an obstacle. Create two images. The first image create what you are feeling- allow yourself to express all your emotions. In the second image create marks, colors, and words your inner child would like to hear to help soothe and comfort that aspect of yourself. If you'd like to share your artwork send us an email, we'd love to hear from you.