Parents often ask me what can be understood from children’s drawings. Many times, in fact, mom and dad are scared in front of graphic representations of the little ones. Parents are alarmed by repeated drawings, in strong colors, in particular shapes. Should children drawing fire or weapons worry adults? Should a teacher be alarmed if a child draws large or, on the contrary, in an almost imperceptible way? From the colors it is possible to understand the personality of children?
In short, what can be understood from children’s drawings? Can drawings really tell us something about who represents them?
WHAT CAN YOU UNDERSTAND FROM CHILDREN’S DESIGNS?
When it comes to child drawing it is always good to remember that it is never possible to interpret univocally. Although it can give us many interesting insights, in fact, there are never any direct relationships between the elements and the characteristics of the child.
Sometimes, for example, it happens to read that the use of black color is indicative of a discomfort. It is impossible to decide a priori these correspondences. It may happen, in fact, that the choice of a color depends on the fact that the one is the only one available (it happens more often than we think), but also by contingent factors, like a strong emotion felt at that moment. Sometimes you can mess a sheet with pressed black lines, as if to tear the sheet, because IN THAT MOMENT you are very angry, and the design takes on a cathartic function. It is not possible, therefore, to make deductions only from a drawing, but these are much more complex relationships.
What can be understood from children’s drawings? Little or nothing, if not included in the story of the child himself. Every representation, in fact, takes on a meaning within the life of that child, of the specific moment in which it is realized and by other contingent factors. Precisely for this reason, reading children’s drawings is, indeed, very important, but at the same time it must be done very carefully.
WHAT CAN YOU UNDERSTAND FROM CHILDREN’S DESIGNS? THIS IS HOW YOU READ IT
If the drawing is seen as a mode of expression and not as a tool capable of revealing unspeakable secrets, then attention to this activity becomes fundamental. It can act as a stimulus to start discussions, the input to talk to the child about what he seems to be struggling to express. Therefore, let us pay attention to the pictorial activity of the little ones, if seen as an additional way to get in touch with them. When a child makes a drawing it is important not to be intrusive by questioning him about what has been represented, but, if you see it arranged, you can congratulate him on his work by asking him to investigate further. Sometimes it is he himself who brings back the history of drawing, narrating a real adventure.
It is important, therefore, to be cautious in drawing conclusions from the drawings, but they can be a very useful tool if used as food for thought.
WHAT CAN YOU UNDERSTAND FROM CHILDREN’S DESIGNS? THE ROLE OF THE PROFESSIONAL
The drawings can sometimes also be a wake-up call for parents. In fact, it may happen that mom and dad turn to a professional in the light of recurring drawings that seem to cause some concern. In this case, the psychologist will not only refer to that drawing, but will deepen the child’s story and experiences, in such a way as to insert that representation into the child’s emotions. Usually the factors to be considered are the recursion of the design and its duration in time. If the child, in fact, always represents the same object in all his works, and this lasts for a long time, then here he can be read as something very strong present in the small. This can be understood both in a positive and negative sense: it can indicate, in fact, a strong concern, but also a strong desire.
In particular, there are drawings that, more than others, have been studied by many researchers. These include self-representation and family design. These two representations have been the subject of numerous studies and are often used as tools to deepen children’s experiences and emotions.
In conclusion, the role of the professional in reading children’s drawings is very important. Through different elements, including drawings, the psychologist can help the child and his family to understand the moment of complexity that is going through, giving way to find a new balance.
Patrick Brown is a well-known content specialist and a blogger, he has a vast experience in industries, especially in education. He writes many articles to related Emergency First Aid Courses Training Melbourne. In the meantime, he read books, listen to songs and maintains his own blog regarding children education.