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  • Writer's pictureLynn Cukaj

Healthy Parental Practices: A suggested guide to assist the parents of children & adolescents

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

Art Therapy for Children, Teenagers and Adults

This guide was created through my work as chair of the Education Committee,

the Somers PTSA community, and Somers High School Administration.

  1. Listen without being defensive, judgmental, or wanting to fix the problem: listening more than speaking

  2. Kids need to problem solve and achieve their own solutions

  3. Allow children to attempt to problem solve issues with others before stepping in and attempting to take over to resolve for them

  4. Recognize your child for who they are and not who you want them to be by having realistic expectations on skills and interests

  5. Ask your child how they need your help if at all before taking action on bullies/trouble socially

  6. Allow your child to have age appropriate decision making: autonomy when deciding to do an activity or sport or academic decisions

  7. Prioritize and balance life’s activities: parents need to lead by example

  8. Ask your child questions about what they want to do: what motivates them? What interests them?

  9. Learn how to help your child de-escalate. Teach coping skills to build resiliency! Kids need to feel and tolerate stress.

  10. Allow your child to have age appropriate decision making: autonomy when deciding to do an activity or sport or academic decisions

  11. Understand your own emotional state prior to reacting and speak in a calm, concise, direct manner: count to 5 and think about what you’re are going to say first before your speak

  12. Model how to manage anger: have angry rules (don’t hurt yourself, don’t hurt others, don’t destroy property)

  13. Notice positive things, say positive things, and positively reinforce

  14. Find time for family quality time away from TV/electronics/phone. Game night and/or family dinners. Discussions can be about the highs/lows of the week and related feelings.

  15. Don’t give feedback/coaching after games/plays etc. Kids have a coach/director that provides guidance. Parents should be there to support not fix deficiencies.

  16. Encourage kids to socialize with friends in a socially interactive way-talking/sharing rather than being on phones next to each other.

  17. Teach your kids to properly answer the phone and engage via phone with adults/others

  18. Take an interest in their interests: Music, YouTube channels. Take turns to share your interests.

  19. Model compassion through action or by discussing a TV or movie scene

  20. Let your child know that they can always call if they need a ride


For more therapeutic activities and resources on how to incorporate Art Therapy into your life, read more from Lynn's Creative Expressions Blog.

Learn more about Art Therapy and Lynn Cukaj, Board Certified Art Therapist here:


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