Are you curious to how your child is feeling but he or she struggles with communication? This can be very frustrating to parents and caregivers to not know how their child is feeling during difficult times such as experiencing a loss in the family, stay-at-home orders due to the pandemics, or even bullying situations. That is why we utilize art to help us build the bridge of communication bridge between us and our children and to help us better understand how they are feeling. However, we can’t just interpret artwork alone and assume that a child is feeling sad because he or she colored a picture of dark colored clouds and raindrops. That child probably loves rainy weather because he or she gets play in the rain or that he or she knows that rain helps flowers bloom!
Nadia Paredes, a registered art therapist, suggests parents and caregivers to always ask questions about their child’s artwork “because kids will have inner symbolisms that we’re not aware of” and we don’t want to “spoil it” with our own assumptions. The next time your family has art time, start asking your child questions like “when I see dark clouds and raindrops, it makes me feel sad, do you feel that way?” Not only are you modeling empathy, you are also providing your child the opportunity to openly discuss their feelings.