do you urge your children to "color in the lines"? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 75 Old 11-10-2011, 05:07 PM
 
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Well coming from a parent who has 2 art related degrees no I do not require coloring in the lines.  However, normally I do color right along with my children.  They see me coloring in the lines and do it as well.  But we also do plenty of free form coloring with just a blank sheet of paper.  Again I will draw as well with them.  They see what mommy is drawing and I encourage them to draw what they want.  I try to explain how to think about and get a picture in your head of what you want on your paper then draw it that way.  At least that works for my kids.  And then it's not just them asking me to draw what they want and  draw it my way.

People like to think that to be creative and to draw you have to have a complete open and free mind.  That you don't have to follow pattern or lines or anything.  When in fact most masters of art were not taught that way.  In fact most masters were taught my copying other works.  Copying then isn't as it's seen now.

 


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#62 of 75 Old 11-11-2011, 07:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rush2ady View Post

As an artist here's my 2 cents worth.  I believe there is some confusion (in the world in general, not only on this thread!) about skill versus creativity.  I teach a few students as well, and yes, in art class I do expect them to color within the lines.  But the context I'm teaching is fine art which requires great skill and master manipulation.  These are skills which can be learned and practiced just as any other skill.  There is a difference in someone scribbling because they seek to achieve a certain effect, versus someone who is only scribbling because they have no skills to do otherwise.

If a person has a foundation of skills, they can express their creativity in powerful ways. 

Teaching art skills is not stifling creativity, but rather opens the door to creativity.  Creativity cannot be taught, it is inherent within all of us.  You might look at someone like Picasso.  Many of his works were more abstract and expressive, rather than realistic.  And very unique and original for his day.  He had a strong foundation of training and was a highly skilled artist.  His training enabled him to access a level of creativity that I'm certain would not have been achieved by a lesser skilled artist.

 

Of course, as with any subject, art should be taught with great sensitivity and care.  It's sad in any situation to make any child feel his/her efforts are wrong and not good enough.  There is a huge difference between gentle encouragement and instruction, and outright criticism. 

Think of it this way...would you take your child to music lessons, then be upset the child was expected to hold their fingers in certain positions?  Would you claim the requirement to keep time with the metronome is stifling their creativity?  Yet someone who knows the "rules" of making music can use that ability to express powerful emotions and move others to tears with the beauty of it.  And of course have the ability to create their own music!

 

I'm surprised to see art reduced to an exercise in fine motor skills.  It is so much more!  I think you gals know this.  But sometimes I feel there is little appreciation of the years of study and effort an artist puts in to produce great work.  Even in doing my taxes this past year, I became totally upset with the accountant because he dismissed my work as a hobby and refused to acknowledge it as a business.  In taxes there is a huge difference between hobbies and professions.  He wasn't taking me seriously as a professional because I'm an artist, not a "real" professional.  It was infuriating and deeply insulting.  I fired him and did Turbo tax :)

 

If you have a problem with the teacher being too critical and controlling of your child's work, I hope you realize it's a flaw in the teacher, not inherent to teaching art.  There are good art teachers out there who don't humiliate their students, but rather truly help them become better artists.     

 

 


Thank you. 

 

All the stories about people giving up on art because their colouring wasn't praised enough made me wonder if they gave up on every other subject when a teacher criticized them. Those stories are just as bad as stories about kids who think they can't do math because a teacher told them they don't have aptitude for it. Bad teaching is the problem, not a particular activity. I don't agree at all with belittling a child in any endeavour and an adult who would harshly criticize colouring would also make a child feel bad for not getting the right answers on a math test. 

 

If colouring books are the single type of activity that a child is allowed, then I agree that would be a problem. I have never encountered a child who was limited like that, but maybe they are out there. Again, it's bad instruction to limit opportunities to a single kind of activity. 

 

I think that "colouring between the lines" is often used to judge whether a parent is too mainstream or whether they are crunchy enough. It's a catchy kind of quick test people use and it's entirely bogus. 

 

 

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#63 of 75 Old 11-11-2011, 07:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

I think that "colouring between the lines" is often used to judge whether a parent is too mainstream or whether they are crunchy enough. It's a catchy kind of quick test people use and it's entirely bogus. 

 

 


I would disagree. I think the "we insist they colour between the lines" is a catchy kind of quick test for how determining how controlling adults are.  I know of a number of online types who restrict tv, junk food, etc, etc - often to the point I find too controlling, yet they are certainly crunchy.

 

I actually find both sides of the argument somewhat bogus.

 

1.  yes - colouring promotes fine motor skills.  So do other activities.  How many of you genuinely need to promote colouring in the lines to promote fine motor skills?  Few, I bet.

 

2.  Insisting on colouring in the lines is not creative. But then - colouring books are not overly creative anyways.  None the less, I have owned them, my kids have played with them, they are not the Devil's Work.  I do not think a parent  telling a child to colour in the lines is necessarily going to hamper their creative skills for life (although I do have 2 family members who were put off art and they do blame poor teaching) but simply because it will not hamper them for life does not make it a good idea, either.

 

I really think the colouring wars debate is about whether we insist kids conform to societies rules.  Is colouring a good litmus test of this?  Probably not.  No "one" activity is. But I suspect that is what we are arguing about or we would not be on post 63.

 

 

 

 

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#64 of 75 Old 11-11-2011, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here: i guess i was referring to coloring as a "busy" activity for little kids at places like the library or the park district waiting rooms, for the younger sibs to have "something to do" while they wait for their older sibs to do their library or park district classes. and/or i see it as an activity the teachers of these classes give to the students, ie., after ballet class, my daughter gets a coloring sheet of a ballerina as a "handout." she doesn't enjoy coloring. 

 

i do see the parents of the younger sibs in the waiting rooms admonishing their 3-4 year olds to "color in the lines" while the kids are simply passing time waiting for big brother, big sister to finish their class.

 

this i do not do. i don't see the point.

 

although i do get the point about fine motor skills, which my daughter has lagged in. her kindergarten teacher has them coloring in the lines for homework and i have impressed upon her the point of it being an exercise to help her learn to write neatly, and urge her to take her time and do a really good job in order to impress the teacher.

 

she is improving, slowly but surely.

 

thanks for all the feedback. hot topic!

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#65 of 75 Old 11-11-2011, 07:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicana View Post

OP here: i guess i was referring to coloring as a "busy" activity for little kids at places like the library or the park district waiting rooms, for the younger sibs to have "something to do" while they wait for their older sibs to do their library or park district classes. and/or i see it as an activity the teachers of these classes give to the students, ie., after ballet class, my daughter gets a coloring sheet of a ballerina as a "handout." she doesn't enjoy coloring. 

 

i do see the parents of the younger sibs in the waiting rooms admonishing their 3-4 year olds to "color in the lines" while the kids are simply passing time waiting for big brother, big sister to finish their class.

 

this i do not do. i don't see the point.

 

 


So these are parents and children that you don't really know? And you don't know their circumstances? And you don't know whether these children have neuromotor issues and might be working on fine motor skills? 

 

You may not see the point, but since they aren't your children, their parents possibly do have one. I wouldn't judge. 

 

 

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#66 of 75 Old 11-11-2011, 07:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post


I would disagree. I think the "we insist they colour between the lines" is a catchy kind of quick test for how determining how controlling adults are.  I know of a number of online types who restrict tv, junk food, etc, etc - often to the point I find too controlling, yet they are certainly crunchy.

 

I actually find both sides of the argument somewhat bogus.

 

1.  yes - colouring promotes fine motor skills.  So do other activities.  How many of you genuinely need to promote colouring in the lines to promote fine motor skills?  Few, I bet.

 

2.  Insisting on colouring in the lines is not creative. But then - colouring books are not overly creative anyways.  None the less, I have owned them, my kids have played with them, they are not the Devil's Work.  I do not think a parent  telling a child to colour in the lines is necessarily going to hamper their creative skills for life (although I do have 2 family members who were put off art and they do blame poor teaching) but simply because it will not hamper them for life does not make it a good idea, either.

 

I really think the colouring wars debate is about whether we insist kids conform to societies rules.  Is colouring a good litmus test of this?  Probably not.  No "one" activity is. But I suspect that is what we are arguing about or we would not be on post 63.

 

 

 

 

 

I think you have a good point that insisting on colouring between the lines and belittling if the child doesn't is over-controlling. I also agree that there are an awful lot of crunchy types who have huge control issues. But generally, just possessing a colouring book is typically used as an indicator of conformity - and isn't that the definition of "mainstream"? 

 


 

 

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#67 of 75 Old 11-11-2011, 08:11 AM
 
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We un coloring book so my toddler just has plain paper to color on.  No lines to require she stay in.  However, I can definitely envision times where trying to stay in the lines will be encouraged.  Coloring is the first step to learning to right.  It's all about learning to control your hands.  I don't think encouraging your kids to try and stay in the line is necessarily wrong at all times.

 

It really comes down to when and how you tell your kid to stay in the lines.  Drawing just to pass time?  doesn't really need to stay in lines.  Telling them they HAVE to or the picture won't look good?  silly.  Working on a specific project or trying to make a game of staying in the lines?  makes sense to me. 

 

Ultimately, most kids move to coloring in the lines anyway.  It looks nicer.  Kids usually move to creating their own art altogether if they want something more creative than filling in pre drawn pictures, in line or out.

 

In a preschool setting where kids are learning how to write their names and the alphabet, it makes perfect sense to move them towards staying in the lines.  if they can stay in the lines, they'll have better control and will be able to make U and V look different rather than like both are the same letter.  Art is a creative outlet but it can also be used as a tool to teach.  If you are using it as a tool to teach, it WILL come with rules.

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#68 of 75 Old 11-11-2011, 08:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicana View Post

OP here: i guess i was referring to coloring as a "busy" activity for little kids at places like the library or the park district waiting rooms, for the younger sibs to have "something to do" while they wait for their older sibs to do their library or park district classes. and/or i see it as an activity the teachers of these classes give to the students, ie., after ballet class, my daughter gets a coloring sheet of a ballerina as a "handout." she doesn't enjoy coloring. 

 

i do see the parents of the younger sibs in the waiting rooms admonishing their 3-4 year olds to "color in the lines" while the kids are simply passing time waiting for big brother, big sister to finish their class.

 

this i do not do. i don't see the point.

 

 



I don't either.  

 

I tend to think insisting on colouring neatly has more to do with compliance and teaching them societies expectation than anything else.  However, who am I to say that is wrong for anyone beyond my family?  

 

Just to play devil's advocate - colouring in the lines develops patience, attention to detail and care, neat work habit - and their teachers will love it in the future!  (my DD (age 12) is expected to colour her projects neatly in order to get full marks for presentation).

 

 

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#69 of 75 Old 11-11-2011, 08:32 AM
 
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Quote:
nm  - just agreeing with some of the stuff Murph12334 said.
 
I do think teaching art might have formulas and techniques (which people may then go on to break) but that is a very different topic than someone insisting their kids colour in the lines in a waiting room.
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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#70 of 75 Old 11-11-2011, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post


So these are parents and children that you don't really know? And you don't know their circumstances? And you don't know whether these children have neuromotor issues and might be working on fine motor skills? 

 

You may not see the point, but since they aren't your children, their parents possibly do have one. I wouldn't judge. 

 

 


they are parents that i DO KNOW.

sheeze. 

i get admonished all the time for "judging" on MDC.

i would say that people on MDC have a habit of "judging" posters, accusing them of "judging."

 

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#71 of 75 Old 11-11-2011, 03:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tropicana View Post


they are parents that i DO KNOW.

sheeze. 

i get admonished all the time for "judging" on MDC.

i would say that people on MDC have a habit of "judging" posters, accusing them of "judging."

 


Everyone judges.  Find one person anywhere who doesn't.  *What* we judge and how defines us.  *How* we pass that judgment determines our character. Some people are more judgmental than others.  Some groups are more vocal regarding their judgments than others.  Some groups are defined specifically by the judgments they make.  We, all of us, are different, but we all make judgments.

Count this as a judgment on judging the judgers who are being unfairly judged by the judgmental. dizzy.gif

 


Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
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#72 of 75 Old 11-11-2011, 04:56 PM
 
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I pretty much say color as you like.  If they want to make it look nice and neat then go for it.  We actually practice penmen ship in our house but coloring is for fun.  I've been teaching my 8 year calligraphy and her writing is getting beautiful.  DD2 I think still eats glue... I kid!

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#73 of 75 Old 11-12-2011, 12:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

Count this as a judgment on judging the judgers who are being unfairly judged by the judgmental. dizzy.gif

 



Totally OT: thanks for a great laugh. You made my day. orngbiggrin.gif

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#74 of 75 Old 11-12-2011, 01:25 PM
 
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With dd#1 who is 8 yo now, she never cared for coloring and in kindergarten her teacher would send notes home about her need to be neater with her coloring. I never said anything to my dd b/c I knew she didn't like it and she's rather creative and I didn't want to stifle that. DD#1 had fine motor issues and so it was hard for her. I found other ways to work on her fine motor skills (dot-to-dots and mazes). 

 

With dd#2 who is 5 and in kindergarten her coloring ability is really good. It's quite impressive for a kindie but most importantly she likes to color and she likes coloring books. But that's the kind of kid she is, she's an 'in the lines' kind of kid and I don't push her to do it. 

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#75 of 75 Old 11-28-2011, 09:01 PM
 
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Not sure if this was already said (slow computer won't let me read all the replies), but I find that when children create their own art, they naturally color in the lines.

 

But no, I would never suggest that my children color within the lines because I see no benefit.  There are a million other ways to develop fine motor skills . . .like drawing.

 

RE: What to do with all of the art, this has been on my mind lately, too!  I think I am just going to let more and more of it go because I can't imagine the kids would want to have a huge collection of their work following them for the rest of their lives.  So sad to get rid of it, though!


 2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11 wave.gif

 

 

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