Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fears Assuaged

One of the hardest cumpulsions to combat in parenthood is that of comparing your child, favorably or unfavorably, to others of the same age. For the most part we are not talking about babies who can recite Shakespeare at 15 months or who are playing Mozart at 2, but parents are always so proud of their kids' accomplishments and they never hesitate to share them. I try not to fall prey... I try not to brag, even when warranted, and I generally don't feel insecure about my children's development.

Fact: very few children are real bonafide geniuses

Fact: all children develop different skills at a different pace

Fact: regardless of the previous two facts, your child will look like a late bloomer in relation to some other child, at some skill, at some time.

For G, this is drawing. She has fabulous large motor skills: running, skipping, climbing, balance, jumping on two feet, jumping on one foot. Her fine motor skills, however, could use a little refining. It is not that I am worried, I know these things come with time and practice and interest (which she has little). I asked her pediatrician what kind of artistic abilities she should have at 4 and she said not much... a circle for a head and two lines for arms. Yet, I have long noticed that other girls her age, and even younger, can draw. They are not little Monet's or anything, but their scribblings vaguely, abstractly resemble objects from daily life: mom, dad, the dog, a tree.

G's scribblings look like scribblings... I mean squirrly-whirly scribblings. I have tried to encourage her to draw a stick-person explaining how to do it. She gets up close to the paper, concentrating fiercely, holding her crayon tight, and scratches intently for a few seconds. Then she sits back, looks at her work, laughs histerically and says: "look at his head." I could worry, but come on people, she is 4. And by the way, it looked nothing like a head.

Truth be told, I don't have an artistic bone in my body. I struggle with stick-people, and anything more complex or realistic is way beyond my skill level. My husband can draw quite well: his bananas look like bananas and his elephants like elephants. His mom was an artist and art teacher so perhaps there is a gene. G didn't get it, I am pretty sure.

But I was relieved a while back to see something person-ish on her paper.

Take a look:

Is that anthropomorphic or what?

I think my fears can be safely laid to rest.


mosey along said...

Yep, looks exactly like an alien octopus person - just what my daughters drawings looked like at that age.

I wouldn't worry - she looks like she's got a handle on it...

lydia said...

it actually looks strikingly like those of an artist i really enjoy.

Danielle said...

I think I see a face in there...
Kids are just better at some things than others. Period.

Sara said...

I'm pretty sure I couldn't draw at four. I wouldn't be too worried. She could still grow up to be an artist like the one from Lydia's link :)

senorateacher said...

That picture is actually quite good! I teach children between the ages of 2 and 4 here in Tokyo, and half of them can draw stick figures, and half cannot.

I think you girl's got it covered! :D

Phoenix said...

Your daughter's drawing is priceless - I can understand having fears as a parent that a child isn't as well-developed as some others. But clearly, this isn't the case :)