Using art as a conversational tool

September 25, 2022

We often don't know what to say as a response to our children's work, most of the time we don’t even know what they are drawing but engaging positively with it is essential for helping them feel valued, confident, and seen. There are a number of reasons why we as parents should pay close attention to our children;s artwork. Let’s start with their drawings.

1. Be explicit and ask them what they were drawing (i.e. “Can you tell me about your painting?"). Kids love talking about their work! This is a great way to engage with your kid and make them feel seen. Plus, it saves you the trouble of confusing a treehouse with an underwater boat.

2. Be detailed when your children ask them what you think about their artwork. Instead of saying, “yes it's really good”, try adding more details, such as, “I think the apples you have drawn look really tasty or this tree reminds me off the park we visited last  week”

3. Use nonverbal signals if you do not know what to say. It’s normal that after a busy day, we simply lack the capacity to see the details or think of good responses. If you’re having one of those days, try using non-verbal feedback like hugs, smiles or high-fives to encourage your child to keep working at it.

4. Motivate your kids to develop the artwork. The more you motivate them to draw, the more you encourage your children to develop a larger imagination and growth mindset.

5. Recognise their effort! Drawing seems like pretty easy stuff to us grown ups, but it's actually hard work for children and requires a lot of fine motor coordination. Encourage your child with phrases like, “I saw you really tried to colour in the lines”, “good job” or “I can see you're putting a lot of thought into drawing these clouds!”

6. Start a conversation about the details. Children have crazy imaginations- you might find a dog flying through the sky or a sketch of your house submerged under water. Let their imagination run wild and engage with it by asking about the small details like the colour of the pink horses. Hey, it may even give your imagination some room to develop!

Using art as a conversational tool

September 25, 2022

We often don't know what to say as a response to our children's work, most of the time we don’t even know what they are drawing but engaging positively with it is essential for helping them feel valued, confident, and seen. There are a number of reasons why we as parents should pay close attention to our children;s artwork. Let’s start with their drawings.

1. Be explicit and ask them what they were drawing (i.e. “Can you tell me about your painting?"). Kids love talking about their work! This is a great way to engage with your kid and make them feel seen. Plus, it saves you the trouble of confusing a treehouse with an underwater boat.

2. Be detailed when your children ask them what you think about their artwork. Instead of saying, “yes it's really good”, try adding more details, such as, “I think the apples you have drawn look really tasty or this tree reminds me off the park we visited last  week”

3. Use nonverbal signals if you do not know what to say. It’s normal that after a busy day, we simply lack the capacity to see the details or think of good responses. If you’re having one of those days, try using non-verbal feedback like hugs, smiles or high-fives to encourage your child to keep working at it.

4. Motivate your kids to develop the artwork. The more you motivate them to draw, the more you encourage your children to develop a larger imagination and growth mindset.

5. Recognise their effort! Drawing seems like pretty easy stuff to us grown ups, but it's actually hard work for children and requires a lot of fine motor coordination. Encourage your child with phrases like, “I saw you really tried to colour in the lines”, “good job” or “I can see you're putting a lot of thought into drawing these clouds!”

6. Start a conversation about the details. Children have crazy imaginations- you might find a dog flying through the sky or a sketch of your house submerged under water. Let their imagination run wild and engage with it by asking about the small details like the colour of the pink horses. Hey, it may even give your imagination some room to develop!

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