As the founder of the Scandinavian Crayon Company and a parent myself, I’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative power of art in a child’s life. Our journey began with a simple yet realisation. Art is not just a creative outlet, but an accessible key to unlocking emotional well-being in children.
I have noticed more and more over the years that anxiety has turned into a pressing concern many parents face today. It’s certainly one that we are facing. So it has become a topic that’s close to my heart, both as a parent and as someone dedicated to crafting tools that nurture a child’s creative spirit. I want to explore a little bit how drawing, a seemingly simple activity, can be a powerful tool in managing childhood anxiety. As someone’s grown up, I can provide a safe space for children to express their emotions and find comfort in their own creative world.
The Power of Drawing
Drawing is much more than a mere pastime for children. It’s a form of expression that reaches beyond words. When children struggle to articulate their feelings, drawing can become their voice, offering a glimpse into their inner world.
Healthcare professionals increasingly recognise the value of creative activities like drawing in child therapy. Art therapy is becoming a mainstream approach in treating various emotional and psychological challenges in children. We recently were involved in a project with the Charity Bikers MC who distributed crayons to kids who needed a form of expression – you can read more about that here.
Understanding Anxiety In Children
Anxiety in children is more than just a phase or a fleeting mood. It’s a real and often intense feeling of fear or worry that can significantly impact a child’s life. Recognising anxiety in children isn’t always straightforward. I missed so many signs and that guilt will never be easy to get rid of. It can manifest in various ways, from physical symptoms like headaches or stomach aches to emotional signs (which are the one’s we appear to be dealing with) such as excessive worry, irritability, or trouble sleeping. I hope that we can see these signs for what they are and not – as we might have been told when we were younger – signs of a naughty or stubborn child.
The effects of anxiety on a child’s development can be far-reaching. It can hinder their ability to engage in day-to-day activities, form healthy relationships, and perform academically. Addressing anxiety early is crucial to provide immediate relief and equip children with coping mechanisms that will serve them throughout life. If we can give them those, then I think we can give ourselves a high five!
A Parent’s Perspective
Creating a space for drawing is about making it fun and not a big deal. It’s about creating an anxiety-free zone. Choosing materials can be a bit of a rabbit hole, but keeping it simple works best. Encouraging children to express themselves freely is key. It’s not about creating a masterpiece; it’s about letting off steam, in colour.
Theory is Great, But Practice is Better
Simple drawing activities can include things like emotion colours, dream doodles, family drawing time, and free drawing. These activities aim for calm and fun, letting children express themselves and their imagination.
Making It a Habit
Creating a ‘daily doodle’ ritual can help make drawing a habit. This is one activity which has had the biggest effect on my family. For me, making one small (yet powerful) incremental change was doable. This involves encouraging your child to draw something from their day, every day. Balancing structure and freedom in drawing activities and pairing drawing with other activities can make the whole experience richer.
Supporting Your Child Beyond Drawing
While drawing is our main focus, other activities like sports, mindfulness practices, and open communication are vital. Knowing when to seek professional help is important, as is creating a supportive home environment.
As an adult managing my own anxiety and as a parent, I’ve learned the importance of equipping our children with tools to navigate their emotions. Drawing has become more than just a pastime in our household, it’s a lifeline. Watching my children draw reminds me of the power of a simple drawing in facing an overwhelming world.
With much love,
Punam – Mamma at the SCC
Scandinavian Crayon Company: Children's Blog
Find free colouring pages and exciting activities for little ones in our blog.