Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist when we grow up. ~Pablo Picasso
Today, stress is a major contributing factor to depression. Stress-related disorders too are on the rise. Unfortunately, as innocent and supposedly responsibility-free as they are; children aren’t exactly free from the stress that affects us all. Children too are dragged into the rat race that is life today; performance anxiety and peer pressure affect them to the extent that children today are just as susceptible to stress-related disorders as adults are. Competition is everywhere; thus, knowingly or unknowingly, parents end up putting a lot of pressure on their kids. This is usually done with the intent to prepare them to face the competition that they are bound to face as adults. The irony, however, is that too much stress can have exactly the opposite effect!
Fortunately, however, there are ways to deal with rising stress levels. Children should be encouraged to get themselves involved in activities that help them take their minds off stress. Art is a great stress reliever; this is a well-known fact. This is because art is a way of expressing oneself in the way that one wishes to express oneself; without having to worry about having to reach some sort of benchmark, especially when it’s done purely as a hobby of some sort. Children should be encouraged to express themselves freely via art without having to worry about pleasing anyone. Try getting your child to maintain a sketch-book. This sketch-book can be like a diary of sorts; but its important that the child doesn’t feel pressured to reach some sort of artistic standard because this would mean more pressure all over again!
Kids are indeed prone to expressing themselves via art without needing any prompting from adults. However, times are such that kids too are getting caught up in the rat race; so much so that they hardly have time for so-called kiddish activities like expressing themselves through art. Don’t deprive your kids of all the benefits of art therapy. Encourage them to express themselves; simply provide you a little artist with the necessary tools and watch him become his very own version of Picasso; in his very own and unique way!