I’m collecting stories of children’s stress and trauma as it shows up in their art.
Do you or your teaching staﬀ have an art experience to share?
I’ll be adding your stories to my new book Trauma Informed Art in Early Childhood which will include art stories from around the world. So far I’ve received stories from preschool teachers working in Uganda, Pakistan, England, the US and Australia, and I’d love to add your stories as well.
I’m especially interested in stories of children’s art that depicts “everyday trauma” or the accumulation of daily stress that builds up over time. The kind we all face now. The seemingly little stress that becomes big stress when it persists or if we are too young to process it.
Because TRAUMA is not just heavy trauma. Trauma is most often the result of small but repeated stress that accumulates over time. Persistent stressors, if not relieved or expressed, become toxic to us over time and are especially toxic to young children. It’s important for parents and teachers to recognize trauma is not just “the big stuff” so that we’re not afraid of it.
So we don’t turn away from trauma ourselves as adults. So we face it and name it and address it directly…so we can then help children find ways to work through it.
Because big feelings that children don’t communicate to a teacher, parent or other “compassionate witness” will come through later as behaviors we don’t want and can’t understand.