Why drawing is important for children's development

Children today are spending a lot of time in front of TV, computer screens and tablets. Instead of drawing, running and jumping in the backyard with the neighbors’ kids, we find them playing a video game, where the characters compete against random opponents for a virtual prize.

But despite the technological growth and evolution, drawing should always maintain its value and parents have to recognize its importance, psychologists believe.

A children’s drawing isn't just a paper covered with shapes and colors. It goes beyond that. Drawing is a form of nonverbal communication and expression. When the children’s vocabulary is limited, they use drawings to let out their emotions, problems and personality traits, which are not detectable while playing video games.

At a very young age, children begin to scribble on paper, and once they take control on holding a pen, shapes start to appear, leading eventually to objects like people and animals, representing what they have in mind.

A child’s drawing is never random. All children have hidden messages behind their drawings and it is not by coincidence that they choose what to draw.

Their artwork could represent an anxious idea or simply their mood. It is obvious that a kid is happy when the drawing is made of bright and different colors, and that the kid is most probably sad when it’s not.

Credit: Zillow.com (left) and Lifeaftertwins.files.wordpress.com (right)

Credit: Zillow.com (left) and Lifeaftertwins.files.wordpress.com (right)

There are several reasons why drawing is essential and will always be beneficial. It allows children to discover their capacities and ability to create something on their own. Each drawing is unique, and this is where the joy of creating resides.

What parents should avoid is drawing for their children. The parents’ idea of perfection is going to limit children’s creativity, leaving them incapable of copying the exact drawing and feeling like they’re not good enough to recreate the original piece.

Coloring books can be limiting too. When a house is represented in the coloring book, it occurs to the children that a house should always look like the way it is in the book. But, in a way, it is an inaccurate representation of reality.

When you can’t tell what the drawing is, don’t label it or try to assume what it looks like, because it might be hurtful for children. Instead, give them the time and chance to explain the story behind the drawing, show interest in what they’re saying and make sure you tell them that their work is beautiful, because it truly is.

Cover credit: Adventuresingiftedness.com