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I frequently post photos on social media of my son painting
at his easel. And I occasionally get questions from other parents asking me
about it. Does he make a mess? Do I just
give him paint and let him go? Then
answers are yes and yes.
At an early age I discovered that for him, painting has a
calming effect. Sometimes he paints for
20 minutes, other times it's just five minutes. But when I notice that he’s getting restless and frustrated I ask him if
he wants to paint, which he almost always says yes, and he calms down while
concentrating on his creation.
But painting more than just calms him; I
feel it allows him the freedom to create and build other important skills as
well. He feels pride over what he
creates. He experiments with colors,
brushes, sponges, fingers, hands and sometimes toy cars or animals. We mix colors together and make new colors. Then there is the whole fine motor skill
aspect of it.
Art also develops creativity. Rather than being told what to do, like when
I attempted cute Pinterest crafts with him in the past, the directions come
from inside him. He decides what to
paint, what colors and what brush/sponge/finger/etc. to use. He is free to experiment — and that is what
Sometimes he tells me what he paints, other times he’s not
creating anything in particular. We have some of his artwork on display in his
room. At times we will look at each one
and tell each other which one is our favorite and why.
Art is a process, not an end result. For us, painting is the medium he responds to
best. It allows him to explore and
experiment while giving him a sense of pride in the end result.