How understanding children’s drawings can improve your parenting skills
One of the most charming moments in parenting is when your child shares a new and fascinating discovery with you. Together with the child, you too are excited to see a tiny beetle resting on a green leaf, sand dunes that have instantly become giant slides, and an entire world of scents, tastes, colors and shapes we have all but forgotten over the years.
Children’s drawings reveal similar experiences. Each drawing is the starting point of a voyage led by the child explorer. They offer you the opportunity to join this unique voyage and understand the child’s world from his distinct perspective.
Parenting in today’s world is far from straightforward. Parents who may be successful in other areas in their lives are often unconfident and even helpless when facing parenting tasks. The parental role involves dealing with fundamental questions, such as: Have I set the appropriate boundaries? Have I understood my child properly? Have I given him the right behavioral reinforcements? Have I correctly interpreted his signals?
Today’s parents are anxious to understand their child, enhance their parenting skills and be more involved in his emotional world, so as to be able to provide the right answers when he’ll need them.
In this context, children’s drawings offer a kind of map enabling you to navigate in the child’s inner emotional world. Through the drawings, the child expresses his difficulties, as well as the solutions he requires. Informed observation of the child’s artwork may provide parents, therapists and educators with a reliable compass for understanding the child’s present needs.
My approach to interpreting children’s drawings and to diagnosing children in general is positive and optimistic. The drawings shed light on the child’s world, enabling us to understand his difficulties but also the strengths which enable him to grow towards solutions that are appropriate for his personality.
All children want to develop and experience the world around them, but they require proper encouragement and guidance to support them on their way to realizing their potential. Interpreting children’s drawings enables the parent to avoid forcing standardized, one-size-fits-all solutions that have been offered to different families under different circumstances, and instead assess what is most appropriate for his child at a given moment in his life. Just as many children can have fever, but each for a different reason, children’s drawings allow us to better understand the various reasons for the same behavioral manifestation.
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