I read in a magazine in the past, years before I had a child, that we can tell a lot about what is going on in our child’s life from their drawings. Now that the Twerp is drawing in preschool, I was interested in seeing what her drawings meant. A lot of her drawings were her family: Via, Mommy, Daddy, Tita and sometimes Ate Kim in that order. Ate Kim is Tita’s daughter who is staying with us temporarily. Here is Via’s drawing of her family which shows the same thing in all the drawings. We all look like characters in Beetlejuice.
According to what I read, the one she drew biggest or shows up prominently is the person that she looks up to most and the one that has the most influence on her. That would be Mommy I’m glad. I want us to have a strong bond based on mutual respect, trust and love and I hope even as she grows up, she will not have any secrets from me. The others are bunched together on the side. Her drawing of herself is clear with enough space all around her. I guess that means Mommy and Via are the central characters in her life which makes sense. It should be interesting to show her drawing to a child psychologist. Maybe when there’s more variety. I wonder though what it means that she mostly draws her family.
I got these tips on when you need to worry about what your child’s drawing mean from Circle of Moms. Some drawings that show violence may not be as bad as you think. It could be something your child saw on TV and is trying to understand what it meant and need to talk about it. Here are four warning signs that the child needs to talk according to this article from Circle of Moms.
1. Sudden shifts in content. Sudden changes in the nature of drawings, especially toward “Monsters, guns, weapons, ‘ghosts’, or other such violent or threatening drawings” may indicate some inner turmoil.
2. Predominant use of black and red. Therapists have identified these colors as universally meaningful, even for young children. “Black often is an indication of depression or feeling hopeless or restricted. Red may indicate anger or aggression.” Keep in mind that one occasional drawing in these colors is not a cause for concern. Rather, look for a pattern or a series of drawings.
3. Unusual depictions of family. Many preschoolers like to draw their own families, but when these pictures leave out a family member, or when your child situates herself or a relative out of place or divided from the rest of the family, it can indicate that there are conflicts at home. Dr. Bhagwagar also emphasizes the important role of the family drawing over all other types of preschooler art: “…any upsetting event currently in a child’s life usually shows up in the family drawing.”
4. Self representation. Asking your child to draw themselves (or really, any human figure) can provide a glimpse into how she actually sees herself: “Is the figure small or puny or too large? Is some area in the drawing heavily shaded? Does the drawing have teeth, weapons or other unusual content? All these are signs of insecurity and conflict.”
I think I will make a scrapbook of all of Via’s drawings. It should give me an insight on what is going on in her mind and in her daily life.