Four Things Your Child Can Learn About Him/Herself From Their Artwork

A child’s world is full of curiosity, excitement, innocence, and creativity. There are constant surprises, questions, and discoveries. Often there is little to worry about and much to learn and enjoy.

From a child’s prolling-pin-art-3_thumb3-300x300erspective, discovering is frequent since there is always something new or something s/he was aware of but which can change in delightful ways. If adults could perceive as children do, we might discover the fantasies and the silliness a child envisions or imagines. We might even be able to realize and share a child’s creative thoughts. As it is, there is an opportunity to observe some of their delightful responses and perhaps to recall our own imaginative reactions, thoughts and ideas at a very young age.

Children often discover their self-expression by considering options and imagining possibilities. Reading can introduce alternative worlds, and writing their own thoughts provide them with opportunities to envision differences. Their thinking can expand and they may realize the fun of discovering their own reactions. Those reactions may come in various forms:

  1. Through creating artworks: You can develop a child’s interest in art by encouraging their drawing, painting, constructions or other techniques. Their enthusiasm can increase with a parent’s interest and encouragement.
  1. Try talking with your child about their “creations”: Your thoughtful questions and responses of encouragement can stimulate your child’s ideas and enthusiasm. A parent’s delight can increase the pleasure a child experiences. Children need opportunities to explore and experiment in their own carefree ways. They need to discover their thoughts and how they want to express them. A child’s mind is flexible and can switch suddenly as their ideas expand.
  1. Invite your child to tell about their artwork or the stories created: Children react in various ways to their own ideas and art work. If there should be a sudden stop or block in thoughts, a parent can simply say, “Tell me about your idea.” This invitation invites a child to talk about their thoughts and this may help them to expand their ideas in special ways that hadn’t been considered. This may even lead to new thoughts and excitement about their work.
  1. Imagination has few boundaries:Ideas can happen anytime and can expand in unexpected directions. Stories can begin with your child’s thoughts and feelings and these can inspire their confidence in their own creative ideas. Taking time for their personal thoughts about objects, sounds, feelings, or sudden thoughts can introduce ideas they had not considered.

A story can begin as easily as looking at or picking up an object and asking questions as if the object could answer. Let imagination take over.

For example, have your child pick up a rock, a leaf, or any common object and start asking questions as if asking a person. “Where did you come from? Are you alone or are there others with you? Are you lost? Is someone or something looking for you?” Let your child imagine the answers. The questions can be strange and the answers unexpected. The object’s “responses” might be surprising and delightful to you. Suddenly a story can expand or even become an artwork, and the fun and smiles have just begun.

Your child’s curiosity and creativity may expand with your interest, encouragement, and understanding as you hear his or her thoughts and ideas. This attention can help to build their confidence and curiosity about their own efforts. You might be amazed when you hear their imaginative views for a story or artwork. You both may find that the sharing of thoughts, feelings, and activities are enjoyed and may even build an added friendship that is unexpected and valued by you both.

At the same time, you may realize an increased ease with sharing thoughts that do not intrude on your child’s personal ideas or opinions about the story or artwork. You both can enjoy the ease and delights of discovering and sharing your child’s creativity.

Best wishes,

Ruth A. Radmore




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