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One way may be to have them express themselves in creative ways. For example, you may bring up the bullying incident in a natural way and then ask them to draw a picture about it just using lines, shapes and colors. Then you could ask questions about the picture. Are they in the picture? IS the bully there? If you notice a big circle ask what that circle would say if it could talk, if there’s a giant black box ask more about that box and what it would say if it could talk… I then write talk bubbles and say what the shapes and lines would say. Keep asking questions.
Another way would be to work with clay and have the child make a shape about the incident. Or maybe make some shapes/images/ figures with clay and then have them act it out. You could also use puppets. You could start out with the puppet show and make up what you might say to the bully (for example, I’m so mad at you bully for being mean to my boy…). You could even have them write and sing songs about it. Any creative way that works for them. What is most helpful is to repeat and rephrase to make sure you get it right. That usually keeps the conversation going. For example, if the child said, “my brother is so much smarter than me!” you might say, “you feel like your brother is so much smarter than you…” Seems simple but they often say, “yeah…” and just keep going. Try not to dispute how they’re feeling by saying “you’re so smart! your brother is not smarter than you” because that just leaves them feeling like they’re wrong again.
One amazing book is “Windows to our Children” by Violet Oaklander.
This is such a long post but I have more to say (I’m a school psychologist so I love talking to kids) so please let me know if you want to talk about it more:)