Tuesday, June 29, 2004

More on critique ---

I have a friend whose son one day was very worried about his coloring. He was 5 years old, or therabouts. He kept asking her, "Did I color everything?" He was actually WORRIED.

Well, she asked him what was going on, why he was so concerned about this, and he said his nursery school teacher had told him his coloring page wasn't done one day. He hadn't filled everything in. This was after he brought his paper to her, as a completed product.

Her comment was not meant to hurt him, or squash him as an artist - but it did just that. It caused him a great deal of anxiety about his drawing and coloring.

I think parents and teachers need to be very aware of what we say to our children when they are creating something. I think it's best to simply ask the child about the picture -- "tell me about this dog!" or - "what is this in the corner?" - or - "are these your favorite colors for a sunset?"

Or simply tell them it's a beautiful picture, or a fun picture, or you really like the picture.

They don't need critique. They don't need to be told to use more red, or fill up the page, or make the eyes larger.

Same thing with acting. They don't need to be told to get angrier or happier or more excited or anything like that.

Just let them act! Just let them color! Allow the artist to come out.