#1 – CREATE A WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY DOODLE:
Young people often find it easier to talk about their feelings when they are not having to actually “talk” too much! Help your child to “show” you how they feel about being happy and what makes them happy! It also works really well for trying to understand things like what do I like / not like about school? Let them take the lead on this. Let them share what feels good and anything else that comes up. The key is not to try and change any feelings or argue your point of view on anything. For example:
Child: I feel like no one likes me at school..
Mom: (Instead of) That’s not true….(Try) That must be very hard for you to feel like that..
The simple change means that you are listening and understanding their feelings. You will be enabling your child to keep talking. They will feel understood. How many times have you heard “you don’t understand me, no one understands me”? This simple change of actively listening can make a huge amount of difference.
#2 – EXPLORING FEELINGS ABOUT A DIAGNOSIS / WHAT MAKES US UNIQUE
Create a fingerprint painting. Focus on how unique and different each fingerprint in this world each. Talk about how people are the same. How we all are born differently and with different cells in our bodies. Talk about how we grow and change and how everyone will have a diagnosis of something in their lifetime. Talk about other diagnosis’s that you know of within your family circle. Talk about how different cultures see and believe different things. Talk about the strengths of a diagnosis and LISTEN. Take time to just listen to what your young person is sharing! No judgement and no motive other than to witness their feelings unfold on the paper in front of you! A deep connection and bonding exercise for families!
#3 – DOODLING RELATIONSHIP GOALS
Helping young people to understand what a healthy friendship or relationship is, can be a difficult task! Exploring what feels nice to receive from others, what is caring and what attracts the young person to others is important. Exploring what the young person views as negative qualities in a friendship or relationship is also important. You can also create a list of positives and negatives! This works really well for young people with Autism, Aspergers or ADHD. Allow them to lead and to choose colours, pictures, words etc.
This is so important for their exploration and can give you so much insight into how they are feeling and thinking! If you are concerned about what they share and their view of relationships, know that now is probably not the time to challenge this. This is their view right now! Instead, you could explore your own views on relationships without judging theirs. You could create your own list and ask them to help you. Show them that you while you value their opinion and feelings, you also value their sharing with you.
Work slowly and with patience. The more you connect with them in their space, the more you will be invited in!
TIP: You model healthy relationship choices and friendships by the relationships and people that you keep in your life! What messages do you give your child?
#parenting #anxiety #therapy #children #family #youngpeople #mentalhealth #relationships #creative #counselling #CBT #NLP #motivation #healing #art #doodles