The Art of Self-Expression Through Drawing Classes for Children
Children often lack the language skills to convey their innermost thoughts and feelings. We can tell something is wrong. But when we ask them to express what’s wrong, what do we get? Usually a shrug or a short answer of “Nothing.” Drawing classes for children are often a wonderfully effective outlet for children who need to develop the art of self-expression.
Through art, children who are naturally quiet or who lack the confidence to speak up can express themselves. They benefit from drawing classes; some would even argue that these children are the ones who need them the most.
Why Drawing Classes for Children Help Them Express Themselves
It’s Fun: Children learn by playing and having fun. It’s how they explore their world. Drawing is no different. They are exploring putting shapes and colors to paper. It’s a fun and pressure-free time for children. The teacher becomes their friend.
There’s No Right or Wrong: When children attend their first drawing classes, there is no right or wrong. There is a learning process by which they learn to turn squiggles into discernable forms. But, there is a lot of room left for kids to just be kids.
They Can Show Instead of Tell: Children who struggle with self-expression do so for any number of reasons. It’s often that they don’t know the right words to say what they need to with words. Putting images to paper doesn’t require advanced language skills. In fact, if a person who doesn’t speak your language draws a very rough sketch of a cat, you will still be able to identify it as a cat without a single word said.
It Feels Like an Accomplishment: Many children who are overly quiet lack self-confidence. They aren’t confident that what they have to say will be “good enough,” so they say nothing at all. In a drawing, children participate in the experience rather than worry about the outcome. They relish the process of drawing and coloring in their pictures to share with the world. When they finish, they feel proud of themselves regardless of the final quality. This gives them a way to express themselves with the inhibitions they otherwise may feel.
They Show Thoughtfulness: Most mothers love to hear that little voice quip, “Mommy, I made this for you!” For most children, there is no greater act of love or thoughtfulness than making a drawing in art class to present to the most important people in their lives. So treasure those little sheets of construction paper, because the teenage years are coming!
What Parents Can Do to Foster Drawing as Self-Expression at Home
By now, you surely agree that drawing is a wonderful form of self-expression for children. However, you might be wondering what you can do to keep that creativity flowing at home. Here are a few tips:
Keep supplies handy. Crayons, pencils, paper, and yes, even paint are all wonderfully messy supplies that will encourage self-expression.
Ask your child about his artwork carefully. Instead of asking your child what he drew, which can lead to hurt feelings and frustration, comment on it. So, if you’re not exactly what he drew (it happens!), praise him for all the effort he put into the drawing. If you are very lucky, he will open up to you about the process, so you can discreetly discern what exactly he drew.
Proudly display the artwork. Set up an “art gallery” in your home. You may not love the idea of plastering his artwork through an entire room like wallpaper but let him choose any three masterpieces to “exhibit” at one time in his own private gallery. You will make him feel special instead of limiting his creativity.
If your child is unusually quiet, she probably really does have a lot to say. She just might not know how to say it. Getting your child in drawing classes can get her on the path to opening up, becoming more expressive, and gaining confidence.
Author Bio: Amanda Lee Jones is the owner of the Amanda Lee Jones art studio in Austin, TX. While she’s a teacher of classical drawing and painting, she also holds a degree in Elementary Education. She loves educating parents on how they can help their children through art.