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How do I encourage my kids to draw? And should I be worried if they won't?

I loved to draw as a kid and have looked forward for so long to having my own kids drawing me pictures and hanging them up on the refrigerator and all of that. But my kids have no interest in drawing at all. It makes me sad. My daughter is only 2 so I'm not concerned about her yet. But my son is 4 and still won't draw. I asked him to draw a person today and he said he can't. He won't even try. Sometimes he will have me draw things for him, but he won't do it himself. If he colors a picture, he takes one color and scribbles it across the entire page then he is done, just like my 2 year old. I'm teaching him to read (he is a smart kid despite what it sounds like) and I would like to teach him to write as well, but he fights it and won't even try. I even have to constantly remind him to hold crayons right and not in his fist. Any suggestions? And should I be concerned or not yet?


Asked by mybella81 at 4:51 PM on Mar. 3, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (9)
  • my son is 4 and always so afraid of trying new things. so his response is 'i can't'. i tell him you never know until you try. maybe tell him to draw something from his imagination and then make a story for you to go with it. when he's telling you about it make a huge deal about how great it is and be sure to show everybody. that will boost his confidence to try drawing more. about the holding the crayon in the fist thing.... my son is 4 and can write his name really well, but he still holds the crayon in his fist so i don't really think that's a big deal. my teachers were always getting on me to hold my pencil the right way, but i still hold it 'wrong' and my handwriting is good imo lol. i wouldn't worry about that so much. o and to teach him how to write i held his hand and made the letters over and over again with him. then he traced them, then he could do it on his own. just remember to be supportive and not bossy

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 9:44 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • My son did the same thing..He HATED to color and his teacher in Kindergarten always laughed about his coloring attemps. She knew he hated it with a passion. LOL Now, at 14, he draws extremely well. And loves to. So, don't worry.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 4:57 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • paint, pudding, side walk chalk, bath cryons, etc........ make it fun.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:01 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • my kids didn't enjoy coloring until my oldest started kindergarten. now all 4 (6, 5, 2 and 2)sit at the table and color.

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 5:51 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • Don't push it. He told you he "couldn't" draw a person. He may be insecure and be afraid to try. Just let him do what he wants. If you want to suggest something for him to draw, keep it very simply and see if that helps (i.e. things he can definitely do). Not everyone likes to draw so don't make a big deal out of it. Trying different things as the previous poster suggested might be the way to go.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:08 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • Stop pushing him. He is telling you in a very subtle way that HE IS NOT INTERESTED or READY. Let him be a 4 year old. He doesn't need to draw or read at 4. He will have plenty of time to learn all of that. I teach 4 year old preschool and have 2 parents that are pushing their kids way too much. They expect me to teach them to read, write sentences, add and subtract. NOT something I will ever teach a 4 year old. Not to mention that the Kindergarten teachers in my area would have a fit. Each child learns and develops in their own time and on their own schedule and no amount of pushing will change that. Push too hard and your child will stop trying and hate school and learning.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 9:53 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • "They expect me to teach them to read, write sentences, add and subtract. NOT something I will ever teach a 4 year old. Not to mention that the Kindergarten teachers in my area would have a fit."

    My child is 3 1/2 and has been reading since the day before she turned 3 -- using both phonics and sight words. Did I push her? NO. Did I answer questions that she asked? YES. I couldn't have kept her from reading if I tried. She was beyond determined. She has progressed quickly from cat, hat, etc. to reading early chapter books. I could care less what the kindergarten teachers would say. Their job is to differentiate for every child. According to this statement you made, "Each child learns and develops in their own time," you should be doing the same.

    She is now doing her best to add. Again -- I am NOT pushing her AT ALL. I realize that she will be ahead, but when did that become a bad thing. [cont.]

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:33 PM on Mar. 5, 2010

  • I won't force her to stay back to fit in. That's just mean in my opinion. She wants to read! She wants to write! She wants to learn to add and subtract! She wants to be like her brother, and she will pick up his stuff and work on it until she has it figured out. I can't stand when people underestimate children. How insulting to them! Granted, some really can't and shouldn't, but you shouldn't make blanket decisions for your four-year-olds.

    OP -- there are great ways to help them want to draw. First of all, do it yourself. Get out some art materials and just start working on something. Don't ask him if he wants to do it. Just have fun. He just might want to join you.

    Take some chalk outside and draw. Put some shaving cream on a cookie sheet and write letters. Paint. Use colorful markers and pens. Get a travel size magna doodle and leave it in the car for him to pick up when he wants it. You have fun, and he might too.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:38 PM on Mar. 5, 2010

  • Also, his hand muscles might not have the strength yet to hold the crayons correctly. Build his strength by playing with playdoh or clay. Make some bread, and let him knead it. Play with legos. Do anything you can think of that he enjoys that requires him to use his fine motor skills. How does he do with puzzles?

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:41 PM on Mar. 5, 2010