Guest Contributor: JO SZAKALLAS
20% of 2 and 3-year-olds throw tantrums daily. Tantrums are a normal part of a child’s development and a way to express their emotions; but, if you find your toddler’s tantrum-throwing embarrassing or just difficult to deal with, then it’s worth getting out the paper, pens, and paint as there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that getting creative can help preschoolers express their emotions more effectively.
Feelings they can’t vocalize
The average 3-year-old has around 200 words in their vocabulary and can form sentences together of between 3 and 4 words, according to Kids Health. It can, therefore, be difficult for a child to express that they are angry, scared, or upset in a productive way. But by giving them the tools to draw or paint, many kids will produce a picture that will show parents exactly how they are feeling. Even if you can’t identify everything that your child has drawn, just being able to get their feelings down on paper will make your child feel a whole lot better than they would have if they’d thrown themselves on the floor in a fit of rage.
Young children typically get just two hours of their parents’ undivided attention on a daily basis, according to Quartz. Many young children will feel disappointed and frustrated by the lack of attention that they receive throughout the day. But being able to get their feelings down on paper whenever the mood strikes them is highly beneficial for their self-esteem as it will make a child feel like they are being heard. It’s, therefore, recommended that you have a solid supply of art materials in your home at all times. Paper, pens, paint, crayons, glue, ribbon, and similar items can all be regularly delivered to your door if required. You should also make sure you sit down with your child and allow them to talk through their artwork with you, to further bolster their self-esteem.
More socially confident
It’s crucial that children have friends as they help kids to practice and develop their emotions. Research shows that children with a lack of friends typically have emotional and mental problems later in life. However, the problem for many children is establishing friendships. Getting children to be creative together is ideal as they’ll all want to share their view of the world on paper. Together, the children will learn the concept of sharing and the importance of respecting other children’s creativity, thoughts, and feelings, and this will make them more socially connected to each other.
Young children are highly likely to express their emotions in unfavorable ways. But you can curb this and encourage more positive expression simply by introducing art and creative activities in your home.