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Children’s drawings have always been a subject of research and study for a long period of time. Psychologists believe that drawings can give an insight into a child’s thoughts and personality. Children love to draw anything and everything and their drawings are a reflection of their inner world.
Let’s look at the 5 drawing stages that your child goes through:
Initially, when given a sheet of paper and crayons, a child starts to scribble. Although this is more of fun and learning to hold crayons and see different colours on paper, there could be more observations at this stage. While a child is scribbling, it is important to notice how fast the child’s arm is moving and how big those movements are. Ask your child what he is doing while he is scribbling and listen to his comments carefully. It is unbelievable how much can be reflected about your child’s inner world through this.
2. Emergence of Shapes
As a child continues to draw, you will notice that scribbling has taken form of shapes. The shapes that your child draws and their size matter. For e.g., if it’s a circle, see how big or small the circle is and what colours the child has infused in these shapes. They talk a lot about your child’s current state of mind and the personality which is emerging.
3. Drawings based on Figures
Gradually, figures start emerging in the drawings. This happens typically around the age of four years. Only faces emerge without body or hands, while sometimes hands emerge out of the head! Psychologists say that these figures and their formation talk a lot about the intellectual growth and object relation of the child.
4. Stage of Symbolism
This is when more concrete images start to emerge like sun, house, garden, etc. All that your child is seeing around him and on television gets registered and your child starts forming an impression of things. This is usually observed around the age of five years. These are the things that have registered in your child’s mind. The colours that your child uses in these images reveal a lot about their inner self. Bold and bright colours may suggest that your child is an extrovert. If light and subtle shades are used, it gives you a glimpse that your child is building an introvert personality. However, there is no concrete evidence of this as research is still underway.
By the time your child is between five to six years of age, he understands the concept of groups and the different forms of groups. For example, they understand family as the first close knit group and then comes school and friends. They start developing different levels of attachment in different groups and the same is also revealed in their drawings.
In case you see anything which is unusual or different in your child’s drawing – like a glimpse of aggression, which means two people fighting – then you need to ask probing questions and understand where those thoughts and feelings are coming from. If it is repeatedly reflecting in your child’s drawing, you need to delve deeper and understand the underlying root cause.