Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Art Therapy Thursdays: New Blog Segment

Introducing a new weekly blog segment:

If you are new to my blog, let me give you the quick summary of my family!  I am a single mom who has adopted three boys through the foster care system.  I am still a foster parent so we may or may not have some extra children in our home at any time.  My three boys suffered a great deal of early childhood trauma before coming to my house due to abuse and neglect.  As a result of their trauma my oldest two have experienced varying degrees of difficulty forming healthy attachments.  If you want to know more about the effects of early childhood trauma and attachment resistance I encourage you to check out Beyond Trauma and Attachment, Inc. (BETA) at www.momsfindhealing.com .  Parenting kiddos who have experienced trauma is unique and challenging but every step of progress they make is a huge blessing.  Knowing you played a hand in their healing is beyond satisfying, it is a comfort to your soul.  There are thousands of kids right here in the United States waiting for homes, it is not easy road and this whole parenting gig is not easy, but to that one child it matters.  I encourage you to look into foster care and/or adoption in your area.  If you have any questions I'm happy to discuss it with you!

With that background out of the way, my kids love arts and crafts of any kind! They beg to break out the glue, glitter, and scissors and I cringe at the suggestion.  Do any of you know how MESSY boys are???  My sons teacher calls him Houdini due the amount of mess he can make in mere seconds.  So how do I solve this dilemma, I turn this arts and craft time into a learning opportunity.  We have Art Thursdays at our house. It is almost as popular as Pizza Friday!  This means that Thursday afternoon/evening we have a craft.......well they think it is just a craft.  In reality the "crafts" that I pick for us to do serve many purposes.  First, we do the "craft" together to encourage some family bonding time.  Fun, no pressure bonding time is GREAT for our work on attachment issues.  Second, we focus on the kids using positive social skills, if you want to participate in the "craft" you have to use manners and be kind to one another, passing the materials, encouraging one another, and focusing on the task. Third, the "crafts" focus on therapy type things (so official sounding right 'therapy things'), feelings, self-image, social skills, trauma, etc.  There is always a hidden goal to the activities.  Despite my randomn unsuccessful attempt to get into Johns Hopkins University and study Art History, I know little about art or therapy!  There are some GREAT activities out there that you can do with your kids, especially if you spend an insane amount of time on Pinterest like I do :). Sometimes are activities are more "therapeutic" than others, the point is just to get the discussions and thoughts started.  Many times when I have thought the activity was a disaster, weeks later one of the boys will mention it in relation to something they learned.  Melts your heart!  

Each Thursday I will be featuring a craft or art activity that you can use in your home.  I'm hoping you find them as fun and helpful as we do.  Feel free to link up an activity or ask questions in the comments!

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