Problem-solving skills are one of the most important life skills that children need to develop. The use of these skills is evident in children’s play, math and science performance, social interactions, etc. Certain characteristics will interfere with the development of these necessary skill. Among them are lack of self-esteem, self-confidence, shyness and inhibition, anxiety, self doubts, and at times lack of an opportunity to practice this skill at home.
Studies have shown that children who have developed social problem-solving skills by grade II are less likely to get engage in aggressive responses when provoked. They are also more likely to be socially competent, both in classroom and later on in life. Behavioral therapists working with children with behavioral difficulties agree that lack of problem solving skills leads to more verbal and nonverbal aggressive responses and less assertive behaviors. Researchers also emphasize on the negative impact of anxiety, trauma, adverse family relations on the development on problem solving skills.
How can art/play therapy increase problem solving skills in children? Essentially, problem solving skills are a combination of a few things; a) trusting the feelings and thoughts in a situation (self-trust) b) creativity- the ability to think outside of the box to look at the problem from a different perspective c) sense of security – feeling safe about the decision they make in the face of conflict.
Our art therapists are trained to engage children in simple activities to stimulate their creativity, imagination, and decision making in a safe environment where making mistakes is not only not frowned upon but also it could be part of the fun! Eventually, children learn to trust their senses, feelings, and thoughts. Consequently, our art therapists engage children in a series of activities where they can make simple decisions to solve problems. Our art therapists often bring on real life stories with games and activities to help children get use to solving real life problems.
Helping children develop problem-solving skills are often at the core of our therapy sessions regardless of the reason for referral. We believe that if children learn how to solve conflict and problems, they will be able to overcome many obstacles in life and become more competent teenagers and adults. To find out more about our private art therapy services in Montreal, West Island, and Brossard go to our website at www.montrealarttherapy.com or call us at 514-999-3414.