Most parents have had one of those moments where children are facing a blank page, and turn to you and ask “Can you draw me an (insert really difficult thing here) please”.
Now you may be one of the 81% of people who wishes they were more creative, or one of the lucky few who has confidence in your ability or one of the very very lucky few who has a devil may care attitude to your ability (I’ll get to you lucky folk and your lucky kids in a future post) to actually draw this requested item.
The first thing is not to panic, the second thing is to refuse the request. No matter how much you want to, or how persuasive sweet Pablo can be…it is in both your interests to say no. Why? Because a request for “Draw me a…” is simply your child saying “I’m overwhelmed and I don’t know how” not what it sounds like which is “I can’t” (even if they are the words that come out of Pablo’s mouth!).
You simply smile and say “No honey, if I draw it, it will be my (insert item), and I want to see your (insert item)” at which point you will probably hear whining or begging or outcries of ‘I can’t’.
It is then that you help them problem solve the task (ahh…see how art helps build character?). You enter into a dialogue about the item in question, what basic shape is it, how many legs, arms, bits sticking out, head, ears, eyes, tail, wheels, whatever…you discuss how the thing looks. Then bit by bit you encourage sweet Pablo to first draw the… then the…etc. until lo and behold they have drawn it for themselves.
Now if you enjoy a challenge and love to draw by all means go for it – but do it on your own piece of paper, and talk it through as above encouraging young Pablo to do the same on his own piece of paper. When you are done, there is every good chance that your version will be (in your adoring child’s eyes) ‘better’ than his – but again you simply point out “There is no better, it simply is.” And they are both fabulous creations from inside your imagination.
Now you, of course LOVE young Pablo’s version of said drawn object and most children will be happy that what they have drawn – so you make a fuss – tell Pablo how talented he is and that he did it all by himself, and that one day he will be the next Picasso…