Some say that from the very moment a baby is born, some babies demonstrate better developed social skills. Every parent enjoys watching how her children form significant social bonds and surround themselves with peers who appreciate their company. Every parent enjoys watching his children laugh and play with their friends.
One of the things parents would like to know most is, How is my child getting along socially in kindergarten or in school? Does she have any friends, or does she play by herself?
Children’s drawings suggest answers to these and other, more specific questions: Is he socially secure? Does he have low self-image and hence finds it hard to form friendships? What does he do to enhance his social status? Professional analysis of your child’s drawings could tell you a lot about her social functioning and ability to form social contacts. We could help you assess her social skills and provide you with tools to help you boost her self-confidence and social popularity.
The drawing shown here is by a very popular seven year-old. Her drawings offer several indications of her social skills. The first skill required for social success is the ability to integrate with others. Just as she knows how to mediate between other playmates and make sure as many girls take part in a joint game, her drawings are marked by multiple and diverse combinations among the various artistic elements. The other social skill assessed using drawings is the ability to develop her social backbone. In other words, when she integrates in society she does not do this by kowtowing to popular preferences. She can speak her own mind and stand for what’s right. In her drawings, we can see she avoids standard patterns and constantly tries to develop her own design. These attempts indicate that she’s trying to express herself uniquely.
On the other hand, your child might feel socially rejected. His school day is a difficult and exhausting task. Such difficulty may be apparent in his drawings, particularly when he avoids talking about school with his parents and even feels helpless and ashamed about it. How could you tell if your child is popular?
When we detect social rejection in children’s drawings, our first recommendation is that you listen carefully to whatever little your child tells you about his day at school. Don’t rush to offer solutions or judge his behavior, but rather attend to how he narrates his story: When does he raise his voice and talk with confidence, and when does his voice taper away? What scenes are elaborated upon, and which are described in a nutshell? Don’t interrogate the child! Use only information that is freely provided. Remember – whatever the child chooses to share with you best reflects his inner world.
Importantly, some children share social difficulties due to objective circumstances, such as overweight or learning disabilities. In these cases, you must help your children acquire social codes and help them stand their ground in peer society. We also recommend family and individual counseling to enhance the child’s social confidence by stressing her personal qualities and skills, without ignoring any objective difficulty she might be experiencing.
Social difficulties affect children’s personality, development and conduct throughout their lives. Acquiring the ability to cope with such difficulties is critical. Children’s drawings tell you what they do not share. This analysis is essential in that it could help you help children cope socially and acquire better social skills. Help them go through the critical formative years of kindergarten and school with greater ease.
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