Los Angeles Christian Counseling
During your lifetime, it is very possible you’ll come across a child who needs some unique techniques to help them cope with different situations. You may even know of a child who could benefit from some assistance right now. Or, it may happen on down the line in the future.
It’s always good to be equipped with the tools to help. You can be an important part of the equation when it comes to helping solve issues a child might have. You can help them grow by leaps and bounds and help steer them to success.
At-Home Therapeutic Activities for Children
These wonderful therapeutic activities for children are awesome for use in a home setting, but can also be employed later at other social places like in school. Please assist a youngster in your life in finding balance and peace with these activities that are designed to be therapeutic and helpful. You can even incorporate these activities into your own life since they are useful for anyone who is any age.
Thoughts and Feelings Drawn Out
There are times that we have feelings, but no words to effectively express them. If you have wanted to tell how you felt but had a difficult time doing so, you are in good company. Many feel that way. Not being able to express oneself verbally is quite common.
Not being able to find the words to adequately describe feelings is frustrating. It’s also frustrating being the one who is asking how one feels and not getting an answer such as when you ask a child to tell you about their feelings. This exercise helps children say how they feel in a picture. It helps them draw out feelings and thoughts which is helpful to them and to you.
Supplies You Will Need:
- Crayons, Colored Pencils, Markers, Paint (brush or finger paint), Chalk (white or colored), or most any type of writing utensil that is available.
- Paper (any type), chalkboard, whiteboard, or hard surface outside.
This method is great for encouraging a child to use when he or she is noticeably upset. You can also employ it in their routine check-in. It’s awesome to equip children with what they need to express themselves before the situation arises and emotions get out of hand. This exercise helps promote success and helps them make it through difficult times.
Write from the Heart by Journaling
There are times that it is beneficial for children to deep think deeper their experiences and get in touch with their innermost thoughts in order to start the process of healing or they may simply need extra space so they can get their feelings and thoughts out.
Journaling offers an ideal way to do that and more. It’s a good ideal to let your child bring journalism into their world in the way in which is natural to them, allowing them to choose the time, place and technique they want to use.Journaling is very helpful because it serves to give your child the space to release deep thoughts in a safe way. It also gives them the opportunity to reflect back on what was written by them and see growth.
Children tend to spend a lot of hours writing in school, so journaling may not appeal to them initially. It might even seem like homework. But, as you encourage your child, the ideal is likely to grow on them. It’s also typical for a child to be at a loss over what to write. Below you will find some ideas to help prompt them.
- Something that you enjoyed doing today.
- Something you did not like today.
- Someone you talked to this week or today.
- Who would you enjoy playing with every day if you could and why?
- What did you like/dislike about today’s weather?
- What scent do you like the most and the least? What does it make you think of?
- What did you do to relax today?
- What kind of day did you think you’d have today? Did you?
- Are you hoping for something this week? If so, what?
- What do you do when you are afraid?
- What’s something you wish others knew about you?
- What feeling did you experience most today?
It’s amazing to see how many differed types of journaling there are. You can even let your child dictate and you type out the words as if they were a reporter. You could even conduct an interview. Creativity unlocks so many possibilities and can overcome obstacles such as your child not liking to actually write.
Older children may opt to write in diary style which feels more private. In that event, you might share what privacy at their age entails and how it’s imperative to talk to a grown-up about serious feelings like unsafe thoughts or feeling. Assure them they are not alone in their struggles and that you are always available to listen and never to judge.
Digital journaling is another great option your child might feel right at home with. Phones, tablets, and laptops can all be used to do so. The goal remains to help your youngster get feelings aired out, no matter which avenue is taken in order to do so.
Often times, children have the words they’d like to say but are scared to actually say them.
Practice makes a huge difference when trying to learn to do practically anything. With enough practice, you learn to do it well. That’s the importance of role-playing with children. They get to practice the art of interaction and with enough practice, they begin to feel comfortable and confident in speaking words and expressing how they feel.
Below are some great examples of role-playing scenarios you can do with your child:
- Bullying when at school: Building skills for resolving conflicts.
- Overcoming peer pressure: Practicing saying “no”.
- Rising above shyness: Building confidence.
- Anxiety: Learning to overcome your fears.
It’s a good idea to discover the specific situation your child might be dealing with and choose an appropriate scenario to role-play. That way, they can see exactly how to handle their issue at hand. After practicing, they will become more knowledgeable about how to react and more confident in actually carrying it out.
Doing this exercise together can be a time of bonding with our child as well. It gives you a chance to show your faith, firsthand, and to be an example to your youngster.
Meditation or Prayer
Meditation and prayer are quite therapeutic for children who have the ability to link into their faith. Those who can make the connection have an awesome tool at hand. They can pray and relax, knowing God has it handled. They can also understand the power behind both meditation and prayer and it is comforting.
Children can begin learning about meditation and prayer simply by listening to an adult, like a parent, pray out loud. They will then know how easy it is to talk to God. Meditation is not difficult either. Kids can be led in meditation by someone or you can lead the session and the child can sit quietly and think about what they are hearing.
Your own system of belief system can be employed when teaching your child to meditate and to pray. You can share your thoughts and scriptures to back them up. Here are some helpful scriptures that can be very therapeutic when a child has a problem or is in a depressed state of mind:
Prayers that are Therapeutic:
And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. – 1 John 5:15
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. – Jeremiah 29:12
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. – James 5:13
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. – Mark 11:24
The scriptures above might seem complicated for a child if not given an explanation by an adult, and therefore it would be helpful for them to know they can pray and trust that their prayers have been heard.
Calmness and peace can come out of meditation time too. Here’s a kid-friendly meditation idea that can help with keeping them engaged:
Ideas for Simple Meditation:
- Explain the purpose meditation serves to your youngster and be sure to give them the option of whether to participate or not but certainly invite them to. Explain what meditation entails and how it might feel.
- Begin in a very quiet place.
- Suggest to your child that they close their eyes but don’t insist that they do. They can also focus on breathing.
- Start with deep, slow breathing while asking them to participate and join in.
- Suggest to your child that they think about something they like such as a spot they feel safe in or somewhere that is relaxing.
- Request for your child to imagine they are in that safe and very relaxed place.
- Ask that they think and reflect on what it is they smell, hear, think, and see when in that relaxing place.
- Then, suggest they deeply think about the emotions they are feeling in the relaxed place but be sure not to for them to actually move to their emotional state but the option is there if they should voluntarily choose to go there.
- Suggest they take another deep slow breathe.
- Let your child that they can open their eyes whenever they are ready to do so.
- Ask how the meditation experience went.
Caring for OurselvesLike adults, children can get tired and overwhelmed. They need to take time out, like breaks, in order to practice self-care. It is good to find things to do that release stress.
We can teach children to care for their needs and also teach them the benefits of doing so. Here are some things that children can be encouraged to do to give them some good down time:
Self-Care Daily Routines for Children:
- Draw or color
- Sing or listen to whatever music has a positive effect
- Watch funny movies
- Hang out with friends
- Play a musical instrument
- Go do something like exercise or swim
- Cook something
- Sit and enjoy nature
- Go for a walk (with someone)
- Paint your fingernails
- Spend time reading a book
- Work a puzzle.
- Relax and take a nice nap.
- Soak in a bath
- Go play a favorite video game
- Write in a journal
- Spend some time meditating
- Pray to God
Self-care is an imperative concept children really need to learn early on so they can manage their stress levels. Adults sometimes find themselves in a state where they aren’t able to support their child the way the child needs to be supported.
There are some things children can do on their own, however. Getting them to think of how their actions can be responsive or preventative is very helpful and will reap long-lasting positive benefits.
When is it Time for Your Child to Visit a Therapist?
When thinking about how to give your child therapeutic support, you may feel more is necessary. If so, a session at Seattle Christian Counseling with a licensed therapist might be ideal. You have taken a wonderful step yet other steps may be of great benefit as well and we would love to work beside you and your child.
A therapist can help both you and your youngster work on ways to keep up the work you have already begun and also to find new ways of doing things together than promote healing and wellness.
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