Paint The Stars Art Therapy, LLC

the Healing powers of creativity for children, teens and parents

Star-Tip for Separation Anxiety

Star-tip for #Separation #Anxiety: #children can develop separation anxiety at any age. Certain situations can bring on this type of anxiety or a child’s own thoughts can be the culprit as well. If you start to notice that your child has a difficult time separating try preparing them in advance for where everyone is going and allow time for questions. Most children will want to know when you will be returning. For younger children phrases like “soon” or “in a little while” are helpful whereas older children who understand the concept of time would do well with an approximation. It is also helpful for parents to give some cushion time when prepping to separate. These extra few minutes with no signs of rushing can naturally alleviate anxiety for a child. The more stressed you become about the situation the higher their anxiety can climb. Even having a “parent/child goodbye routine”, something you do at EVERY separation, can be calming and can help a child adjust to you leaving and returning. If you find that your child’s #anxiety worsens please contact a #therapist for additional help; anxiety, when recognized early on, can be changed with proper interventions. #parents #caregivers

#Teen #anger is always best handled by letting it out appropriately. Never keep it in.

#Teen #anger is always best handled by letting it out appropriately. Never keep it in.

Star-tip for Recognizing Self-Injurious Behaviors

Star-tip for Recognizing Self-Injurious Behaviors: ‪#‎Selfharm‬, or informally known as “‪#‎cutting‬" or "burning," are behaviors that‪#‎children‬ and ‪#‎adolescents‬ (adults as well) gravitate to when they are feeling emotionally overwhelmed or at times feeling “‪#‎numb‬.” Try and take note of any new behaviors, like wearing long sleeved shirts regardless of temperature (arms and wrists are common areas used but hips, legs, and abdomen are also used) or kids throwing out their own garbage (hiding of bloody tissues, bandages, etc.) can be two possible warning signs of self-harm. It is most important to notice changes in‪#‎moods‬ and overall demeanor. Those engaging in these acts want to be alone and sometimes can develop a pattern like having to ‪#‎cut‬ every night before bed or when they get home from school. If you notice your child likes to be alone at a certain time several times a week you may want to question their reasoning. Take note of how your child reacts to sudden OR expected ‪#‎stress‬. Remember to be genuine when questioning. If you come across as accusatory or punitive you are unlikely to get the ‪#‎truth‬‪#‎Parents‬ may also want to recruit the help of an outside party such as a ‪#‎therapist‬ or ‪#‎doctor‬ specifically if you believe your child will not be honest with you. #Selfharm is an increasing issue among kids and should always be taken seriously; stating that it is “attention-seeking” will not help them or the issue at hand.

Music as a Way to Heal

The power of #music: As an art therapist I believe in all forms of #art as a way to #communicate, expel #emotions, worth through issues and just #create. Working with #teens I have found that they share an intimate #connection with music—who doesn’t? Be it the lyrics, a favorite artist they can relate to or the sounds that mirror their own emotions. Recently I asked a young lady to change lyrics to a song to show how she was coping with her parents divorce. Below are a few snip it’s of her lyrics and the ukulele she is creating to go with it. #arttherapy

Star-Tip for Bullying

Star-tip for Bullying: Be sure to take some time and teach your#children what #bullying is. Be pro-active and do this before any issues even come up. Many children may associate “bullying” with physical harm rather than emotional harm. It is also possible that many children do not know when they are being bullied and others have difficulty recognizing when THEY are bullying someone else. I try and explain to all kids that bullying can be when someone else makes you feel bad in what they say or do. No one has the right to make you feel bad! When applying this lesson it is also good to teach your children the differences between being #passive vs being #assertive. This is a great time to come up with different scenarios and role play. To add some#creativity try creating hand puppets or sock puppets and run through examples of bullying, being passive and being assertive. If your child has exhibited signs of being a bully, it is best to talk to them about it right away. Put them in the “bullied” shoes, help them understand their ways, most children can rectify these behaviors before they escalate.

If you believe your child has been bullied or is a bully you may want to reach out to a #professional to help with improving#selfesteem and/or correcting negative attention seeking#behaviors#parents #prevention

What’s it like to stand up to a bully?

A young girl coping with a #bullying incident that occurred on her bus created this painting incorporating all of the many #feelings she had/has in relation to this incident. She managed to use #selfdefense to get away so you can see why she has such a variety of feelings displayed. Interestingly she stated having #remorse for having to use self defense—I wonder if the #bully feels any remorse?


Got teens? Ever wonder what really goes through your #teens head when he/she gets made fun of? Isn’t invited to the big party? Is put down? Well this is a #painting created by a 15 year old who stated that all of the above leaves her feeling #lonely… And this is her “Lonely.” Wish we could crawl into this painting and #hug every ounce of it! #arttherapy #teen #depression

Star-Tip for Play

Star-Tip for Play: Most people when playing with #children will ask questions or attempt to lead their #play in someway. ” We’re playing house? ok, who am I, the mommy?” “What a beautiful painting, is that a dog?” “Lets put this shape over here like that!”

Try letting your #child call all of the shots while #playing. This allows their true #creativity to come out without worry or self doubt of what others think of their “play”. Resist the urge to ask questions or label the play in any way, see where your child’s #imagination will take you! Have fun!!!

Star-Tip for Building Self-Esteem

Star-Tip for Building Self-esteem: How often do you #reprimand your #child for things they fail or mess up? For every negative try to #encourage with two positives! “I can’t believe you failed math, I told you to study more. But I am so proud of your English grade and how much you improved in science. Maybe we can work together on figuring out why math is such a struggle.” During crucial #developmental years hearing constant negativity can effect long term #confidence. Be #positive when you can and be honest (i.e. not everyone is good at math)! After meltdowns or moments of #discipline be sure to revisit the topic later after everyone is calm and talk it out, come up with better solutions.

It is also important to have discussions of what it means to be #smart, #beautiful, #confident, #NICE! Your children typically learn these concepts first from peers. Who would you rather have teach them about these ideas, you or someone who may give them a false idea of themselves?

Remember: Everyone needs praising from time to time but its also important to learn the concept of failing, no one is #perfect. Some of our #children's imperfections can be the pieces we love most about them. A child can't build #selfesteem without understanding what it means to mess up or fail. We can allow them to “lose” without giving them “second place!”