Creative Child

Want a Resilient Kid? Unleash Their Creativity

by Rebecca Eanes

Resilience - the ability to cope with the crazy ups and downs on this roller coaster ride we call life. As adults, we tend to think of childhood as an easy ride. There’s no mortgage or rent to pay. Utility bills are not your problem. The IRS isn’t out to get you, yet. From where we stand, it seems relatively stress-free. A little bit of homework is nothing compared to the stressors of adulthood. Unfortunately, we have long forgotten how tough it can be to be a kid. In reality, childhood is full of challenges. 

All children face adversity and stress at some point, such as bullying, divorce, failure, loss, moving, etc.  Sadly, almost half of the nations’ children have also experienced at least one type of serious childhood trauma according to a survey by the National Survey fo Children’s Health (NSCH). This is why resilience is so important. It gives these kids the ability to overcome these obstacles and bounce back.

Resilience is key to good mental health. It reduces the chances that your child will suffer from anxiety or other stress-related disorders. Katie Hurley is a child and adolescent psychotherapist and author of The Happy Kids Handbook. She says, “Resilience helps kids navigate stressful situations. When kids have the skills and the confidence to confront and work through their problems, they learn that they have what it takes to confront difficult issues. The more they bounce back on their own, the more they internalize the message that they are strong and capable.”

There are many ways to help children cultivate resilience, but there is one that is often overlooked - unleashing creativity. Being creative helps kids find an outlet for negative emotions and reduces stress. The arts have long been used by doctors and therapists. Arts therapies have been found to alleviate anxiety, depression, and stress while increasing resilience and wellbeing. When we engage in creative endeavors, we have a new way of expressing our emotions and processing our negative experiences. This aids in recovery in the short-term but also builds long-term confidence and competence. Each time we use creativity as an outlet for expression, we are building resilience.

Here are three ways to help your child unleash their creativity:

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