My siblings and I are all creative in one way or another; one of my sisters has a bachelor in interior design while the other is a painter and going to film school. My brother is an excellent cartoon sketcher and I love to write, sketch, and paint. We are all children of the arts with passions that drive us to creative dreams and careers. But it probably wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for my parents. They were always giving us gifts and opportunities to forward our artistic abilities.
Because of my parents encouraging me to draw since I was young, I now feel confident with myself as an artist. I may have quite a ways to go to reach the experts, but they laid out the stepping stones for the beginning of my journey with creativity. But besides giving me an ability that many don't have, I've come to find that it has benefited me in my life more than I know.
The Mental Benefits of Being an Artist
Besides letting your child express their creativity and imagination, there are so many other reasons to get them into it young.
The American Journal of Public Health published an article titled, The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health. In researches, Heather Stuckey and Jeremy Nobel went over 100 studies about the affect of art on one's physical and mental health. They reported that the different forms of art helped to have a,“Reductions in stress and anxiety; increases in positive emotions." It also was able to reduce depression and, “Improvements in flow and spontaneity, expression of grief, positive identity, and social networks” It's that so amazing how it can affect one's mental health so positively?
Growing from being a kid and into an adolescent can be so confusing; hormones are out of control, they're not quite sure of themselves, and unsure of how they fit in. For parents, this can worry them on how to best help them through this strange transition. But children who grew up creating or being apart of some form of art can experience this change in life more favorably. They are able to express their emotions in their art, as well as get their minds off of negative thoughts and calm themselves while doing something they love.
The Physical Benefits
Now while mental health for your young one is extremely important, their physical well being can be helped through art as well. The Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine did a study on HIV patients and how those that wrote were able to have positive feelings. And those positive feelings affected the cells inside a person's body, and strengthened their immune system.
Isn't it incredible how just doing something as simple as writing can change things in our bodies for the better? Your child's emotions through writing or even sketching can affect their minds in a beneficial way. And in doing so, their positive emotions coming from their mind will help their bodies to be healthy.
How can you Help Your Child to Blossom as an Artist?
Starting with the basics is necessary, it's how my parents helped me to discover my gift. You can first start to give them the supplies they need to let their creativity flow. Whether it's through crayons and paper, a paint set, or a computer program, start to give them what they need so they can take their imagination to paper or the screen.
Now as your child is creating art, sit down with them once they're done and review their art. Not in the way a teacher would, but encourage them in their ability, let them know that you are taking an interest and find their work great. Ask many questions about the drawing as well so they know that you are paying attention to detail. Doing this will make them more thoughtful about what they are making.Give them suggestions such as, if they are coloring, to stay in the lines.
Another thing you can do is ask them what they like to do most, whether it's drawing and coloring, music, dancing, or even writing. Then see if you can put them into a class to teach them the skill they are interested in. Letting them be with other children will help them see their classmate's abilities and might perhaps challenge them to go further in their skills.
Also you can give them rewards for new milestone they make in their art. Whether it's ice cream for learning how to draw a person's figure or a trip to the park for taking up water coloring. You don't have to tell them about the rewards, they will just feel happy to continue in making art and feel even better when you show how happy you are with them and how far they've come.
We love our children so much and wonder what we can do to get them into activities that are good for them. Thankfully all children grow up expressing their value for art in different ways, whether it's coloring in a coloring book or dancing to music. So encouraging them in something so healthy for their minds and bodies, we can rest assured that we are helping them to grow up with good skills that will benefit them later in life.