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Is the boy drawing you? He is actually drawing himself

About drawings and Purim

It is not new that children convey messages through the drawing that they draw. Why? This is the language with which they choose to communicate with their surroundings. From these drawings, we can learn a lot about the child's emotional world, about his body image, the place where he perceives himself to be within society and more.
Thus, during the course of his life, the child learns to express himself in drawing as he develops, and allows the outside world to enter into his inner realm, while at the same time he is strengthening his place in society and acquiring the accepted social codes. Therefore, in children's drawings, we will inevitably see development in accordance with the child's age and his maturity (and if no development is seen in the drawing, it is advisable to check with a professional).

The stages of drawing development are:

1. The scribbling stage: ages 1.5 – 3.5
This is the initial and basic stage in which the child holds the crayon and "scribbles" for his own enjoyment, without control, and with a lot of laughter and excitement at the lines and points that appear on the white page. Later on, the shapes (especially circles and long straight lines) start to appear and marks, to which the child attributes an associative name that he chooses by himself.

2. The pre-schematic stage: ages 3.5 – 5
The transitional period to the schematic drawing during which the child moves from scribbling to a more defined and intentional drawing, when here one can see the primary character that the child is drawing: a large circle (head) and lines that come out of it, their significance being arms and legs.

3. The schematic stage: ages 5 – 8.5
‘Schema’ meaning form. At this stage the child begins to draw figures and objects with the help of engineering symbols, with the shapes being what we know and what we have taught the child: the house is built from a square and a triangle; a figure appears as a head, body, hands, feet and so on. Of course, this ‘schema’ becomes perfected with the age of the child, but the child draws what he has learned about the world, and not necessarily what he sees, and therefore there are sometimes distortions in the drawing such as different sizes, a transparent house where one can see what is inside. It should be noted that at this stage there are no proportions, but only drawing in accordance with the size of importance, for example: drawing a father figure that is larger than the house, indicating a child who grew up with a dominant father whom he very much admires.

4. The pre-realistic stage: ages 8.5 – 11.5
At this stage, there are more attempts by the child to draw what he comprehends through his senses, namely the reality around him, and therefore there is more movement, profile, depth and we can see a more accurate description of the reality of his life. For example: his father’s car in the parking lot, the ballet class with friends, a birthday party and so on and so forth. Incidentally, this is where the greatest difference between children is seen: children with high self-esteem will draw the classes in which they participate and present themselves as leaders. Children with low self-esteem are more prone to drawing the family, and the more intimate game with the friend they prefer to play with during the afternoon. During this period, there are multiple styles and children are searching for a new way.

5. The realist stage: ages 11.5 – 19
This is the stage during which most children stop drawing and / or stop taking an interest in drawing, unless they are required to draw for one reason or another. Why? Because the age defined as "adolescence" and it is a sensitive and critical age, and the gap between what the adolescent knows about the world (which is a lot) and the ability to express it (in writing or in drawing) creates frustration. They have a method which they find to be more expressive, which is speaking, and that is what makes them move away from the Arts in general. Of course, there are those who continue to use drawing as a way to express feelings, ideas, thoughts, dreams and search for ‘self’; and we will encounter those who are different / creative / unique / sophisticated, who choose to draw their world.

What do the children's drawings say about Purim ?

The popular tradition at Purim is dressing up. Why dress up at Purim? There are many different reasons, such as the need to conceal oneself when giving charity so as not to embarrass the recipient; or the reason for the ‘reversal’ and ‘concealment’ – a reversal of the fate of the Jews, and concealing Esther's origin.

So, children and adults dress up at Purim and the excitement is in full swing, but there are also preparations in the form of drawing people who are dressed up – as the kindergarten teacher has requested – and the social reality during the holiday. In these drawings one can see the difference between the children: each child draws himself in the disguise he chooses, and to a certain extent this undoubtedly attests to his inner self.

For example, children who are introverted and weaker will draw figures dressed up in uniform (policeman or doctor) who provide protection; whereas dominant and aggressive children will draw large figures dressed up as warriors. Conversely, children with low self confidence will prefer to draw a masked figure, in order to hide their feelings.

What should parents do when they see their children’s drawing, at any age?

1. At the scribbling age – look at the child's picture and listen to his words and to the names that he chooses to give to his scribbles. You must remember that this period will not return, so the child should be allowed to mature slowly without you criticizing his actions. You should always remember: your goal is not to raise a child who is an artist, a writer or a dancer, but you must strive to raise a child who is healthy in his soul, and mature enough to choose his own way of life without fear. Creativity is a natural trait for a child, so you must let it exist in the child's soul with fun and love. If you really want to know what the child is going through, contact professionals in the field.

2. You don’t have to overdo it every time the child scribbles, and offer lots of exaggerated compliments such as: "you are the king", "you are a genius"; or guide him exactly how to draw; or even draw for him – really you shouldn’t. Why? Because in an ideal situation children do not 'know' that a drawing is a symbol representing an object. This option becomes clear to them during their development and when it becomes obvious to the child, he experiences it as being 'magical'. This is actually the most preliminary "imaginary reality" there is, so it is best to let him experience it for himself during his development.

3. It is best to encourage the child to draw in a way that is fun; for example, by placing blank white pages on a small desk or table that is the right size for a child, with a full set of pastel crayons within reach. The child will go to the desk by himself, and will enjoy drawing. You can also sit next to him at the table and draw.

4. And the most important thing: allow the child to draw alone and don’t "guide" him or "draw for him". Why? Because through drawing the child investigates the world, discovers colors and shapes and feels in control of reality, which gives him pleasure and self-satisfaction. It is also development for the brain and preparation for language and writing (hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills).
You are welcome to contact me, wishing you a happy and enjoyable Purim holiday 😊

Dikla Golasa- Halioua M.A. in Education
Remedial Teaching Teacher
Consultant for parents to treat Attention Deficit Disorder through the interpretation of drawings and graphology

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