The benefits of drawing and how parents can encourage them
Drawing is popular because it enhances children’s self-esteem. However, to become good at drawing, it is important that children develop an interest in drawing from an early age (2-3 years old). In this article, we will explain the benefits of drawing and how parents can help their children develop a love of drawing.
What are the benefits of drawing?
Drawing promotes the development of intelligence
When drawing, children need to hold a crayon, brush or pen and move it carefully, experimenting with strength and angle. Drawing is also a good way to practice grip before learning how to write letters and numbers. Lastly, using your fingertips stimulates the nerves in the brain and promotes the development of intelligence.
Drawing cultivates spatial awareness
When we draw, we often draw three-dimensional objects on the paper. This activity fosters spatial awareness and helps us understand what three-dimensional objects are.
Drawing cultivates observation, expression and composition skills
Through drawing, children can observe and express what they want to draw in their own way and gain the compositional skills required to draw and express themselves on paper. Drawing also helps foster sensitivity.
Drawing helps stabilize the mind
For many people, drawing also has the effect of relieving stress and stabilizing the mind. When children draw colorful pictures and work on and complete a picture by themself, they are often satisfied with their accomplishment and gain self-confidence. Since there are no correct answers in drawing, it is easy for children to experience success and strengthen their sense of self-affirmation.
How to encourage children who enjoy drawing
Provide them with a variety of art materials
When possible, it is a good idea for parents to provide their child with a large variety of colors and large paper so their child can express himself/herself freely. The more freedom children have to choose colors the easier it will be to develop their sense of color and expand their range of expression.
Don’t evaluate their drawings
Keep in mind that all drawings by young children look like messy doodles. However, to the child, they are meaningful works of art that he or she has worked hard to complete. We tend to want them to get better at it, so we say things like, “This is better,” or “Let’s do it this way,” or we show them a sample and ask them to redraw it, but we should accept their drawings as they are, as their individuality. It is also not a good idea to compare your child’s drawing to drawings by other children.
Give them feedback rather than just praise
Most children draw because they enjoy it and not because they are good at it. Therefore, praising your child for drawing well they may feel that they need to draw well and begin to dislike drawing if they think they are not good at it. So instead of just praising their child, parents should make comments like “the colors are beautiful”, “it is fun to look at”, or “you drew this part in great detail”.
Don’t impose your ideas on them
If parents (adults) show children too many examples of drawings, it will be harder for the child to draw what he/she wants to draw. Instead of using their imagination, they will try to copy the example so they can draw something their parents like. Also, it is a good idea not to ask too many questions about the drawing even if you are not sure what it is a drawing of. Sometimes, children draw things they make up in their minds and cannot describe what it is themselves.
The most important aspect of drawing for young children is whether they are enjoying it or not. Parents can watch from behind and encourage their child but it is important that they do not limit the child’s self-expression or individuality. Attending art classes will help your child absorb ideas from those around him/her but not lose his/her sense of creativity and self-expression. Attending these classes are also a great way for your child to develop a love of drawing.