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Interpreting Stick Figures

Our 5yo Eli can read, navigate any computer or hand-held device, and has an incredibly sharp (almost scary in its clarity) memory. BUT, only recently has he shown any interest in drawing.

This morning I gave him a new art pad and box of markers, and he asked for some help with drawing our family. I wrote out all of our names so he wouldn’t forget anyone, and told him to just do his best.

Here’s what he came up with:

our family as stick figures

I was pretty impressed, considering a week ago I’d never even seen him scribble.

Then I looked a little closer at each of our stick figures, and wondered if there was any truth to a child’s psychological world coming through in pictures. If so, Eli has some pretty specific feelings about our family!

For instance…

Eli himself seems happy as a clam…

eli stick figure

…but Isaac, who frequently tousles with Eli (as brothers do), looks a little on the angry side.

isaac stick figure

And Abby, who is a genuinely sensitive soul, looks like she might be crying…

abby stick figure

…while it appears Maddy‘s whole face is falling in on her. (oddly enough, Maddy DOES have this creepy ability to “drop” her lazy eye into the corner of her lids.)

maddy stick figure

Aside from Eli, Hannah‘s is the happiest face in the bunch, and she’s taller than any of the kids in the picture (though in real life, she’s shorter than everyone but Eli). Considering that Eli worships Hannah, I’m guessing his depiction of her is no accident.

hannah stick figure

And shall we take a look at Mom and Dad? I look decidedly sad/grumpy (and what’s with my flat head?)…

mom stick figure

…while my husband towers over us all with a distinctly “meh” look about him…

robb stick figure

It’s probably best to believe that this isn’t any kind of peek into Eli’s mind, but just some random experimentation with a new skill. Either way, I’m curious to see what he draws next, and whether or not my stick-figure frown will find its way into a smile!

I’m curious: what kinds of things do you “see” in your child’s drawings?

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