Monday, December 8, 2014

Six Year Olds Drawing the Family

Greetings friends and family,

My disclaimer of the day is to keep in mind I despise NPR and their liberal bias of journalism.  Calling their propaganda "journalism" is a disgrace to journalists, but I don't know how else to describe what they pretend to do.

I found an article about family dynamics that referenced another article that sent me on a wild goose chase ending with cat videos and standup comedy.  I don't how that happens, but the internet is strange place.

Anyway, on one of those articles I saw this article title:  Kids' Drawings Speak Volumes About Home

The link is here:

The article contains a link to the new study, but I discovered it costs $200 or so to get a membership to see the full study.  Honestly, I don't want to know THAT badly.

Here are the key thoughts I found relevant in the NPR article:

Researchers sat the children down with markers and paper and asked them to draw their families. No coaching. No other instructions. The drawing usually took 10 minutes or less.

Six years old is the "sweet spot" for such a test, says Mills-Koonce. Any younger, and a child can't control her pencil. Any older, and she begins to internalize the concept of an ideal family, which could then influence her drawings.

Many psychologists use drawing tests as a subjective way of trying to understand children's home lives. What's new here is that Mills-Koonce and his team believe they've created a system of evaluating the drawings objectively — in short, allowing any clinician to look at a child's family sketch and draw roughly the same conclusions.

I decided to capture Easton and Layla's view of our family even without knowing how to interpret the results.  Interpretation can come later, but they won't always be six years old.  In fact, they will be seven in just 2 months!  It's a joy to watch them grow up, but as all parents realize (some earlier than others) it happens very quickly.

I did as the instructions suggested by allowing them individually to sit at the table with a blank piece of paper and a container of markers.  The only directions I gave was, "draw our family in ten minutes or less."

The results were great in my completely unprofessional, useless opinion.  Easton added his name afterwards in over-sized letters.  Easton's picture has blue skies, green grass, sunshine, and smiling faces.  These aspects indicate a general health and well-being as opposed to dark clouds and frowns.  The proximity of the twins to us as parents is important.  Notice how we are all squished together as a family.  the four of us are literally overlapping with his hand blurring into my hip, Kendra's arm overlapping mine, etc.  Easton and Layla's hands are almost touching in the picture.  that's a good sign of their own relationship.  The smiles on all four of our faces and the relatively uniform shapes of our bodies indicate how Easton views us as all as equals.

Layla's has herself in high heels like Kendra.  I believe this is her attempt to ask for high heels for Christmas. Layla's picture shows all four Webbs smiling, standing side-by-side, equal in size and proportion.  Mom and Layla are in the middle with Easton and I on the outside.  I believe this is a result of our continual focus of "being gentlemen" when we are walking in public.  Easton and I walk on the outside of Layla and hold her hand.  She didn't add any background like a house or yard, but if I had given her a few more minutes I bet she would have added more detail.  Not exactly a Mona Lisa, but it tells a healthy story, from what I can tell.

The pictures are telling.  Not sure exactly what they tell, but the video is much better because their explanation comes with an easier way to interpret their view of our family.

we'll keep the paper copy of these family portraits, but the digital version of this will probably outlast the paper version.  I hope...

See you soon!

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