Artwork that your child creates is an expression of his or her thoughts and feelings. Your response can truly affect your child, so we encourage you to respond in a way that enhances your child’s self-esteem and allows the art to be a conversation-starter. Try to use the following tips:
• Ask your child open-ended questions, such as: “What part of this picture do you like best?” or “What part was the most difficult to do?”
• Ask questions about the artwork, even encourage your child to make up a story about specific objects in the drawing: Using the artwork as a conversation-starter will help your child to develop communication skills while learning that you value his creativity.
• Compliment specific aspect of the drawing to show your child that you are truly looking at the drawing (instead of merely saying “that is good”). For example, say: “I love how you used different shades of green in the tree. It makes it look so real.” Then ask a question about this element, such as: “What do you think would live in that tree?”
• Applaud your child’s effort and how he engaged in the process of the artmaking as opposed to only focusing on the product.
• Appreciate that each child and each drawing is unique: Refrain from comparing your child’s art to someone else’s work.
• Try not to analyze the artwork or assume why your child used certain colors: Very often our assumptions of our children’s drawings are incorrect. Instead of making an assumption, ask your child to tell you more about the colors or specific aspects of the drawing.