Art Therapy for Children and Parents
Advice from an experienced psychologist
The Eurasian Women’s Community web-portal launches the week dedicated to the topic of upbringing and education of children. Olga Rumyantseva, a skilled psychologist and teacher with 22 years of working experience, shared her professional advice. In her work, she pays much attention to modern creative methods, training technologies that help people reveal themselves. They include art therapy, therapeutical fencing, and psychological games.
Olga Rumyantseva - PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Dean of the Psychology College at the International College for Arts and Communication (MKIK), consulting psychologist
Humanity, love, and openness are the main life values for Olga Rumyantseva. The psychologist believes that these three components are extremely important in building relations between people including children and their parents or students and their lecturer.
“In technologically-advanced modern world, children often do not have sufficient real-life communication, warmth, attention, and support. The main advice that I share with parents is to try to spend as much time as possible with their child. This is the simplest but the most effective way to show the child’s being important, needed, and loved”, notes Ms. Rumyantseva. At the same time, the amount of time is not the most significant aspect. It is important to be in a close contact with the child. In this case, a strong attachment is being formed and it becomes easier for a child to move forward in life.
In order to build warm and trusting relationship, it is important for adults and children to know each other better and to share their interests, worries, and emotions with each other more often. Not only parents but also teachers should take that into consideration.
Olga Rumyantseva organises meetings with her students in such a way so that she can interest the listeners, create the atmosphere of an open dialogue with them. Students of other faculties love and always look forward to attending her lectures as well.
Throughout many years of her work, Ms. Rumyantseva has been watching the change of the rising generation. Over time, children became more creative and began to strive to express their individuality. That is why art therapy is one of Olga Rumyantseva’s most favourite and efficient of interaction with students.
Art therapy includes different kinds of art: dancing, music, literature, photography, and sculpturing.
At the classes, a person relaxes and understands his or her inner self, expresses emotions and worries by means of creative activities. This helps people cope with their inner conflicts and get rid of psychological complexes and tension.
Art therapy is extremely important for little children because it contributes to identifying their individualities.
During the classes, students usually draw. Artistic skills are of little importance in art therapy. The most important thing is that people fully immerse in the creative process and their inner world, think through their feelings. Every drawing is valuable because it can tell much about its author. Reflection and thinking over one’s own experience and that of other people is an important component of art therapy. It helps children form a holistic worldview, feel, and understand the inner worlds of other people. This brings people together.
Olga Rumyantseva shared simple exercises that can be easily done at home.
An exercise suitable for small children is called ‘colour spots’. It invites people to recall what brings them joy. That can be a children’s laugh, smell of your favorite pie, hearty talk with your grandma… Then you should think about what colour is associated with every kind of such joys. After that, just put them as paint spots on a sheet of paper. As a result, you will have a bright mosaic. Olga Rumyantseva recommends that children and parents do the exercise jointly.
This method helps realise that happiness is around you. You should just learn to notice it.
In addition, when doing the exercise, children and parents become closer to each other: they learn more about each other’s values and desires.
The second exercise is called ‘Vessel With Resources’. It is suitable for older children and adults. The task is to draw a vase with flowers and fruit and give a conditional name to every object. Every name must correspond to the resource that helps you in life. That can be your personal qualities, skills or people.
Using these drawings, parents can understand whether their children have enough resources and feel support from close people and realise what their children lean on in life.
Olga Rumyantseva also proposed an interesting way of entertainment, which is joint mandala painting. This helps parents relax after work and be with their children in a comfortable space.
Ms. Rumyantseva believes that the main task of a parent is to teach his or her child to use the existing opportunities, find way out in difficult situations, and give the child basic competencies that will be helpful in life. To do that, it is necessary to feel and understand the child. It is important for parents to love and accept the child. Parents must consider that the child may have interests, wishes, and goals that are different from theirs and ensure necessary conditions for self-expression and creative development.
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Anna Repina, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov