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Understanding and deciphering children’s drawings

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What do children’s drawings mean?

Learn how to decipher children’s drawings and you’ll be able to get to know your child better and his or her inner personality. Children’s drawings can tell a lot about their fears, joys, dreams, hopes and nightmares, but they also give you a beautiful view of their personalities.

When children can draw freely, without homework or comment, they unconsciously draw what concerns or interests them. With a little knowledge of universal symbolism in drawings, you can learn a lot about your child through his creations.

Children begin their drawing process from the moment they are large enough to hold a crayon or pencil and put it on paper. For the little ones, the drawing represents a natural activity, usually with great enjoyment. They draw to express emotions because they often don’t know how to express different feelings through words. They express their fears, joys, dreams, hopes and nightmares through drawings, and also give you clues about their relationships with the world and with other things.

Drawing is an outlet for communication, and children’s illustrations represent a vision of their personalities. Children’s drawings are unique and can give us accurate information about young artists.

All parents hope to find some meaning in the drawings belonging to their children. Sometimes drawings are just drawings, with nothing but a fun game moment. But sometimes interpreting some children’s drawings means discovering a deeper layer of what they’re thinking and feeling.

Therefore, you don’t need to read much in each drawing, but allow the child to tell you what the drawing means to him. Asking questions, such as what people do in the drawing, can reveal things about your child that you might never otherwise notice.

Age-based drawing stages

Children’s drawings can be classified into three stages:

2-4 years

At this stage, there is no realism in the images, and they are mostly just marks on one page. It may seem like there’s nothing there, but sometimes kids create something called “fortuitous realism.” This means that when they do doodle, you may see certain shapes, such as a car or a house.

4-7 years

At this stage, children try to create things they see with their eyes. They could draw the simplest things, like faces, stick figures, cars, trucks, trees and houses. There are usually no realistic details for these drawings. At the end of this stage, they begin to add certain things that distinguish their ideas, such as flowers in front of a house or clothes on stick figures.

At the age of 4, most children draw dolls with body, legs, arms and head. Before that, they usually draw circles with eyes and a mouth and immediately under two legs. They draw these figures from the age of about 2-3, when they discover that they are independent people, separated from Mom and the world around them. They express this awareness of an “I” in the form of a circle representing unity and a limit of “the others”.

Children are ready for school between the age of four and six. They can recognize and name their emotions. His self-awareness grows, the personality becomes more stratified. You see that in his drawings, they get more details. They put ears, hair, fingers and shoes on their feet. There will also be drawings with houses, trees and suns with stripes. The outside world like school and friends are gradually becoming more striking than the world of a safe home. Children become more independent.

More than 7 years

At this stage, there is some evidence of structure. For example, a drawing of the ocean may include seagulls, star marts, a beach ball, people in swimsuits, etc. You can add words and symbols to give more explanation messages from the drawing. Human sketches will have more details, possibly including freckles. There is more depth and realism, and it is possible to use new points of view.

The choice of color may apparently be significant:

  • Black and purple suggest dominance and can be favored by a child who is relatively demanding.
  • Blue azul is popular with children who have a loving nature and enjoy the company.
  • Red is the color of emotion, can be used especially by children to not want to miss anything, and is one of the most popular colors.
  • Pink shows a need for love and appreciation and is favored by girls.
  • Green is the color of those who like to be different, like space, and are artistic and intelligent.
  • Yellow also demonstrates intelligence and a cheerful nature.

Position of the drawing on the page.

When it comes to positioning yourself on the page, apparently the left side of the page is traditionally associated with the past and parenting. It is also associated with mothers.

The right side relates to an interest in the future and a need for communication. This side is associated with parents.

A child who places a good-sized drawing in a prominent place on the page is considered well balanced and safe, while, in contrast, small figures drawn on or near the bottom edge of the paper express feelings that can cause insecurity.

What emotions do your drawings reveal?

Many emotions can be revealed from the drawings as I said above, but it’s best to let your child have the space and time to explain it to him. However, there are some points that researchers have found that could show how a child actually feels.

  • Detailed and careful drawings can reveal a child who feels the need to work hard.
  • Strong strokes, especially if they are together, can be a sign of stress, strong feelings, determination or anger, while softer marks suggest a calmer nature.
  • The quality of the line can also be significant, a figure drawn with light lines, hesitant and broken, reveals a hesitant and insecure child who seems to think as he progresses. In contrast, the bold, continuous and freely drawn line is an expression of self-confidence and a sense of security.
  • When drawing figures, the relative size of the drawn figures are considered significant, and the most important or dominant figures are drawn larger.
  • The absence of arms is sometimes interpreted as an indication of shyness, a sign of non-aggressive children, while exaggerating the size of the hands is considered a symbol of impulsive tendencies if the figure is a self-portrait. Similarly, small feet look like a sign of insecurity, literally an unstable base.
  • Impulsive child: great figures, without necks, and asymmetry of limbs.
  • Anxious child: clouds, rain, birds flying, no eyes on figures
  • Shy child: Short figures, no nose or mouth, small figures and arms near the body
  • Angry child: Big hands and teeth, long arms, crossed eyes
  • Unsafe child: monstrous figures, tiny heads, no hands and sloping figures.

Interpretations of some symbols

The sun symbolizes the outside world.

The sun that almost all children draw often symbolizes the outside world according to some theories. The sun provides light and heat, nourishes and stimulates. He encourages you to take action, to explore the world. It is often the father who represents the outside world for a child and encourages him to go out.

It’s amazing that game therapists around the world see that when a child never draws a sun at this age, the parent is often offstage. If a child draws sun while there is no parent, there is likely to be an alternate father figure nearby that activates and encourages it. For example, a teacher involved, an uncle, or a neighbor. But the mother, of course, can also play the role of the father. There’s no reason to panic if your child draws a picture without the sun.

Houses: family and I interior.

The houses symbolize the family situation, but also the inner life of a child. A global study by psychologist and teacher Rhoda Kellogg (Children’s Art Analysis, 1967) shows that all children, including those living in an apartment or in a country where there are almost no houses with pointed ceilings, draw houses like a square with a triangle as a roof. . The square is said to be a symbol of protection, delimitation and stability, while the triangle represents the parent-child relationship. Other experts, see the ceiling as the top of the head; the brain, which harbors thoughts, memories and dreams.

Through the windows, you can look from the inside out and vice versa. If a child never draws windows, it can mean that he shows little of his inner being, which is shy or closed. Bars in front of a window may indicate fear that your emotional world will break. You can go in and out through the front door. If there is no front door, contact becomes difficult.

Smoke in a fireplace means a child can express their feelings, which can vent at home.

Meaning of the tree

The tree is often seen by psychologists and therapists as the representation of the course of life. Surprisingly, if a 6-year-old draws a branch, cavity, or lump in the middle of the trunk, he has often experienced something that framed him. For example, a move, illness, or divorce.

If a child draws fruit on or near a tree, it indicates a positive development in his or her life, something is bearing fruit. But what a tree mainly expresses is growth.

How to motivate your kids to draw

Learning how to interpret and decode children’s drawings can be very helpful. However, try to encourage this creative activity as well.

Artistic experiences help children develop independence within boundaries, and gives them the opportunity to represent their ideas on paper or in other formats. The most important thing is that creative expression allows children to harness the magic of their own imagination, which is what it’s all about to be a child.

Here are some things you can do to encourage your child to draw more:

  • Make art a regular part of game time. Offer you various drawing utensils, such as crayons, thick pencils and washable markers. Cut paper bags to draw. Sometimes it helps young children out if you stick the paper on the table so it doesn’t move while they draw.
  • No need for instructions. Let him experience, explore and express his creativity in his own way. You will feel safe, competent and intelligent.
  • Look at the process, not just the result. Participate in your drawing process, rather than simply congratulating on success. Help him draw some more complicated things, or choose together the appropriate colors for a tree house.
  • Use art to help your child express strong feelings. If you feel angry, help him express such emotions by drawing a very angry image.

All the information we give you in this article is indicative since each person is different so to establish a diagnosis and treatment it is essential that you go to your doctor.

Carolina González Ramos

Edda Virtual Solutions

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