stop "teaching " your child to draw !!!

Charlie - posted on 04/10/2011 ( 27 moms have responded )

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Ok this is something that annoys the crap out of me .

Children are brilliant , creative and have imaginations that far outweigh the scraps of imagination that adults have so it drives me batty ( especially when I was teaching ) to see a child draw ..lets say ...a girl , stick figure , round head , triangle dress and instantly you KNOW their parents have been trying to "teach" them how to draw .

Sorry but that isnt teaching ANYTHING in fact what it is doing is crushing their creativity , their imagination and their power of observation into fine detail .

Children from the moment they pick up a pen arent always drawing anything , it could just be they enjoy the feeling of making big circles so please dont try and coax them into saying it is a truck or a snake instead of saying " that looks like a truck " say " what are doing here it looks very interesting " then they wont feel pressured to say it is anything , then they can freely say " IM MAKING BIG CIRCLES !!" .

If they do want you to be involved in their art , if they do say " I want to draw a dog" then encourage them to be an observer , get a picture of a dog , encourage them to talk about what they see .
" is the dog big or little , what shape is its head , does it have a long or short nose , are its ears floppy or do they stick up what kind of fur does the dog have , encourage them to really see where all the parts go , is the dog sitting up or down ? can you see all of its legs ? "

Not only will you be amazed at how observant they are you will not believe the finely detailed art pieces they come out with when encouraged to really see the deatil .

So please try not to encourage stick figure people , smiley " faces " with circle head , circle eyes and and a one line smile .

If your child does a drawing on their own and makes a picture of a person that to you barely resembles a bowl of noodles DO not say it looks like noodles or say it doesnt look like a person respect their work and appreaciate their abstract art because if I see one more carbon copy , creativly killed child Im gonna cry .

Here is a great poem by one of the most amazing childhood educators talking about the hundred languages of children and how they have far more ability to express themselves through their creativity and how adults are set on crushing this wonderful ability ......don't kill it nuture it .

The Hundred Languages Of Children
The child
is made of one hundred.
The child has
a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.
A hundred always a hundred
ways of listening
of marveling, of loving
a hundred joys
for singing and understanding
a hundred worlds
to discover
a hundred worlds
to invent
a hundred worlds
to dream.
The child has
a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
but they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
separate the head from the body.
They tell the child:
to think without hands
to do without head
to listen and not to speak
to understand without joy
to love and to marvel
only at Easter and at Christmas.
They tell the child:
to discover the world already there
and of the hundred
they steal ninety-nine.
They tell the child:
that work and play
reality and fantasy
science and imagination
sky and earth
reason and dream
are things
that do not belong together.

And thus they tell the child
that the hundred is not there.
The child says:
No way. The hundred is there.


Loris Malaguzzi
(translated by Lella Gandini

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Stifler's - posted on 04/15/2011

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Oh once my friend's kid was here and I'm like "what's this a picture of?" She's 3 and she's like looks at me with a blank stare like "Emma.... it's a scribble" and she's goes.... "nothing!" So since then i'm just like ooh this is a nice picture Alaska... hoping she'll tell me it's something hahaha

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Lol Emma I only ask my neices and nephews about the pictures they show me, I don't ask if they don't show me or if we aren't doing it together :-)

Stifler's - posted on 04/15/2011

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I don't even ask other people's kids what they drew at my house. I'm like this is a nice picture... half the time it is nothing anyway they just wanted to scribble and use stamps.

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I love that Ethan is happy to pick up a crayon or a paint brush and slap it on the paper in his own way. The only thing I do focus on at the moment is that he one keeps the paint on the picture (doesn't paint all over the room) and two doesn't eat the material we are using (I think he has realised now he doesn't like the taste of crayons though now). At the moment he is just learning that different things make different patterns - and just enjoys scribbling (he is only 18 months old).

The thing I find really annoying is when people go 'oh is that a dog' and then the poor kid gets upset because they drew a polar bear not a dog. I always ask for them to tell me about their picture rather than guess at what they have drawn.

My neice loves drawing with me when we see each other but I insist that we both draw pictures together and then we talk about our art :-)

Jenn - posted on 04/15/2011

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Kids see the world differently than we do so their artwork will reflect that. I am an artist so my children already learn from me, because they ask. Sometimes they get frustrated because their art doesnt look like mine, so I work hard to encourage their individual sense of style and creativity. I am a realist, my oldest is more abstract. She actually teaches me! I understand the way schools teach art in the early years but I am elated when children are allowed their own perspective and consequently praised for it.

Johnny - posted on 04/12/2011

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Well, perhaps just ranting about it changed the picture....

She came home today with a drawing that she did at her play class. It was just blue swirls which according to her is a drawing of mixing buns (she baked buns on Monday). I hope I didn't go overboard with my excitement, it certainly wasn't faked. I was thrilled.

Jayce - posted on 04/12/2011

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I guess that teacher never watched an episode of Harry and His Bucketful of Dinosaurs. What colour did the teacher think the dinosaur should be?

Stifler's - posted on 04/12/2011

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Hahahahahaha I would have thought blue was an appropriate colour to be honest. I have a book about the dinosaur is so big or something and he's blue.

Jodi - posted on 04/12/2011

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"According to this teacher, there were no blue dinosaurs. WTF?!?!? "



Well, let's be honest here, how the fuck would she know? After all, our idea of dinosaurs are reconstructions and may be TOTALLY off. I mean, after several million years, I am pretty sure the colour would have faded, so the blue is hardly going to still be evident......Blue dinosaurs make sense....they can camoflauge in the water!!!

Krista - posted on 04/12/2011

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Gabby likes to color. She just scribbles all over the page. I tell her what color she is using in french and english, but i leave the choosing up to her. I have to sit right with her so she doesn't eat them...

Heh --- I have to do the same thing with Sam. He wants to taste the crayons. The one time I turned my head for three seconds, I looked back and he had blue wax wodged in between his front teeth. But yeah, he loves to colour and scribble. I hate it when people try to make kids express their creativity the "right" way. A woman I know (who now homeschools), was pretty appalled when she found out that her kid got in shit with the teacher for colouring his dinosaur picture blue. According to this teacher, there were no blue dinosaurs. WTF?!?!?

Jodi - posted on 04/12/2011

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LOL Johnny, I was thinking the same as Loureen - her creativeness is to turn her tools into something else. We have pencils and crayons as carrots and apples around here. And her stuffed toys on the end of dressing gown ties to take them for a walk.....to school. And then we have Action Man as Prince Charming, and her idea of dressing warmly is to put 5 layers of clothing on, including her scarf as an accessory around her neck and her black boots, because it is fashionable......(yeah I know, need I say more?).

being creative is wonderful, and it is also a journey for a parent, such a delight.

Lissa - posted on 04/12/2011

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One bit of advice given to me by my sister was when children do pictures for you always say I love this picture can you come and tell me all about it. That way you don't do the awful "What a lovely tree" only to find it's actually a dinosaur :$
My youngest disliked drawing/painting until recently so when he "had" to do it at nursery/school he either made everything just one colour or did something completely innapropriate like that's a cat getting run over, a plane crashing into a mountain etc. No he doesn't need a therapist he is just rather sarcastic and told me if they were going to make him draw and paint that was what he was going to do. In the last few months he has actually started having fun with it, I think maybe because he is left handed it took a long time for him to be able to control the pencil/brush and make it do exactly what he wanted it to do.

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Gabby likes to color. She just scribbles all over the page. I tell her what color she is using in french and english, but i leave the choosing up to her. I have to sit right with her so she doesn't eat them...

Charlie - posted on 04/11/2011

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Haha that is her creative / artistic ability ..to turn objects into something else ..awesome !

Johnny - posted on 04/11/2011

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I can't get my daughter to draw at all. I put out crayons, paints, paper, scraps, glue.... she just pretends the glue is a microphone and sings. She takes the crayons, puts them in the colander from the kitchen to "wash the veggies". She's got quite an imagination, tells very elaborate stories and seems to be developing an imaginary friend named Snaftyloo (sp???) but no art interest at all. I entirely blame the art class we went to last year. I was just hoping for a place where they provided supplies and let the kids have fun. But it was all about "color by numbers" and sticking matching stickers on pages. I pulled her out after a couple classes, but after that, I couldn't interest her in art at all. So frustrating. I feel like I stifled my daughters creativity without even realizing it. Or perhaps like her father & I, she has inherited no artistic ability at all.

Johnny - posted on 04/11/2011

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I can't get my daughter to draw at all. I put out crayons, paints, paper, scraps, glue.... she just pretends the glue is a microphone and sings. She takes the crayons, puts them in the colander from the kitchen to "wash the veggies". She's got quite an imagination, tells very elaborate stories and seems to be developing an imaginary friend named Snaftyloo (sp???) but no art interest at all. I entirely blame the art class we went to last year. I was just hoping for a place where they provided supplies and let the kids have fun. But it was all about "color by numbers" and sticking matching stickers on pages. I pulled her out after a couple classes, but after that, I couldn't interest her in art at all. So frustrating. I feel like I stifled my daughters creativity without even realizing it. Or perhaps like her father & I, she has inherited no artistic ability at all.

Charlie - posted on 04/11/2011

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It really annoys me when I walk into a classroom and there are 30 cut out chicken hands all decorated with the same things as if off a production line .

Stifler's - posted on 04/11/2011

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Logan is 15 months and he can grip the crayon but doesn't understand that it draws on things hahaha so I just sit there scribbling encouraging him to scribble.

Kate CP - posted on 04/11/2011

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When my daughter was old enough to grip a crayon I stuck one in her hand and helped her scribble on paper. She has loved it ever since. Sometimes she draws elaborate pictures...sometimes it's just a bunch of different colors...sometimes she draws funky shapes. She has fun with it and I love her pictures. I encourage her to create...doesn't matter what it is that she's creating, though. :)

Jayce - posted on 04/11/2011

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I'm doing he best I can to foster my son's imagination. He has a great imagination and I don't want him to lose it. I will ask him "What are you drawing" or "Tell me about your picture". When he tells me a story I'll ask "what happened next' or something like that to encourage him to keep going.

I understand why you're annoyed. It annoys me when I hear things like that.

Amber - posted on 04/11/2011

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I don't tell my little guy what to draw, he just does what he wants. I always tell him it's lovely...then wait for him to tell me what it is! haha
He drew me an awesome picture of Spiderman the other day, But he drew about 10 ovals before he got it to look "just right" for the head.
His newest thing is to figure out what shape each person's body is; we've been doing tangrams and he realizes that big things are made of smaller shapes. This can be really embarrassing when he yells out "Hey momma, that person's body is a big circle!"
We're working on whispering those things.....lol

Nikki - posted on 04/11/2011

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I agree, you can't foster imagination by stifling it with others interpretations. I love it when you hear teachers say "ducks are not blue!"

One of the reasons I am happy with the new Aus national learning framework for early childhood, much more of child friendly focus in relation to play, creativity and learning.

Jodi - posted on 04/11/2011

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I LOVE my kids expressing their imagination through their drawing. My daughter is actually extremely imaginative and creative in both her art and her play, and I've never influenced her direction. She did go through a stage where she drew triangle dresses and stick figures last year - I think maybe because this is how other kids in her class were drawing? I am not sure, but it certainly wasn't what I taught her, LOL.



Now she draws the most amazing pictures for a 6 year old. I am surprised every day when she brings me her drawings - she has a fantastic ability to interpret her world through her pictures. It is really special to see those things through her eyes in that way.

Stifler's - posted on 04/10/2011

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This reminds me of the "Your Baby Can Read". Why does a 6 month old need to read flash cards?! LOLL

Charlie - posted on 04/10/2011

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Hehe good to know ;)

It's just a rant in general , children used to try and get me to draw stuff ALL the time and I would have to say " how about I help you find a book about .... and we can look at it together "

I LOVE abstract monsters !
We used to take our class of five year olds to the Archibald exhibition every year and the art they were inspired to do were as good if not better than some of the portraits in the show if not a little abstract but hey thats art !.

Sneaky - posted on 04/10/2011

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I NEVER did!!!! It's not my fault!!! Seriously, I saw both her speech therapist and her special needs play group leader show her how to draw stick figures and triangle dresses - and she got bored with that in about three seconds! All I ever did was draw ice-cream cones and lollipops for her (she asked me to all the time!) and we'd draw shapes together so she could learn them, but she's always been her true to her inner artist - she's going through an abstract shaped monster phase now (big teeth, red eyes).

:o)

BTW, I'm not saying that you shouldn't be annoyed, just that in my case, it wasn't the parents!!

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