Monday, January 12, 2009

What we can learn from our kids' drawings

This is a picture my daughter drew in early 2000 when she was six years old (you can click on it for a clearer view of it). The title is Mummy and Dad at home!

There's a great deal to observe about this drawing. To begin with, Fiona is obviously much larger than me. Dominatingly so. And she looks so happy in her beautiful dress, high heels, blouse and necklace. But I, on the other hand, though wearing a very snappy tie, have been drawn wearing knickers and a dreaded don't-take-me-seriously white short-sleeved dress shirt. And if it's not enough that Fiona is firmly clutching the hand of my miniature arm, her svelte uniform body also creates an extremely uncomplimentary contrast to the disfigured form of my limbs of various lengths and widths. And then there's my face. Fiona seems quite happy with her carefully drawn teethy grin, but I appear completely crazed with my disheveled hair and unkempt beard and my eyes of uneven size.

And then there's the apple in Fiona's hand, which on close inspection looks to have a bite taken out of it. I wonder somehow if (with the mess all around my mouth) I'm the one who's eating it as Fiona kindly feeds the weedy little man at her side.

I don't want to over-psycho-analyze this drawing, but when I first saw it, it did occur to me that perhaps I hadn't been home with the kids often enough. "Who's that little man we see with Mummy sometimes?" they might have wondered. I think they've figured that out by now.

© 2009 by Ken Peters


Anonymous said...

I think that it's very interesting to look at kids pictures. Here, I also notice that there are 3 people in the picture hanging on the wall - only 2 have faces. The 1 person may be turned around (?) facing the other 2, but it's hard to tell. I think it's natural for a mom to have a dominate presence in the drawing since they are the ones children view as caring for everyone in the family. This would especially be noticable if the dad works, and the mom stays home with the kids.

Ken said...

A very good, objective analysis. Thanks for that. If you check back here, may I ask who left that comment?

Anonymous said...

It was me (Jen Bergen-Anderson) - I don't have a blog acct and couldn't figure out how to work it :) I'm very "un-technically" inclined.