Children may complain “I can’t draw”

clawHow often do you hear a child say “I can’t draw” and screw up the piece of paper when you think it is a lovely drawing/painting?

There are 3 reasons common I know about this, that you might not have thought of:

  • The mental image they were holding in their head is much better than the one they have produced on paper.  These people are extremely fortunate to be able to create exceptional mental images, often in full colour.  If they persevere they will get better at copying down to paper, but it is quite understandable that they are initially frustrated.
  • Those who have neurodivergent ways of thinking and learning often have the most fabulous mental images and if they have difficulties keeping them still being grounded and relaxed will help.
  • When copying down to paper encourage them to look up at the mental image and copy it just like they are copying from a real picture. If they look down they may lose the mental image.

In addition, make sure you praise a picture very specifically, it is called descriptive praise. For example, “I really like the blue and green colours you have used there it brings the whole picture alive”.  If you just say “that’s lovely” or “clever girl” that can fly straight over their head and if they don’t agree may cause them to get angry. Do keep encouraging them, being able to draw the pictures you make up in your head is a fabulous talent.

I hope these ideas help you.

#drawing #neurodivergent #descriptivepraise

About olivehickmott

I am a Forensic Learning coach, showing people how they can improve their own learning and change their health. Working with creative neurodivergent students is a joy, as they learn new skills to overcome many of their learning challenges.
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