Do you have the guts to criticize a child?

Do any of you have what it takes to criticize a kid when he or she presents you with a poor-looking painting, or do you just fake it and pretend that it’s great?

Personally, I would go ahead and criticize. However, I still have this unusual feeling of offending another kid just because he or she receives negative feedback. It’s the feeling that I’m being a jerk. On the other hand, it may be better for children to realize that their artwork isn’t so… good. And most of the time, I prefer to be as honest as possible.

But I do ask myself this question: Are kids too young to face criticism?

I think small children are too young too receive such criticism. If you tell them you think they’re ‘picture’ sucks, which it always will (I mean little children aren’t really capable of doing many things ‘good’), they’ll feel bad, and probably won’t work on this (Unless it is very constructive criticism, which I still doubt will help). If you tell them they’re ‘picture’ is awesome, they’ll feel great and probably work on it more so you can praise them more.

Just my experience (I have two little sisters).

Personally I dont think that kids can accept constructive criticism in a way adults do, not even every adult can take criticism in a healthy way.
Its much better to encourage a child to paint more pictures than to tell them it sucks, even if you tell them in a polite manner…

I just go, ‘IT’S AWESOME!!’ and act all enthusiastic.

That way (theoretically), they’ll be spurred on to paint more pictures and through that practice, actually get good. But I leave constuctive criticism for people who I know can take it. Like my friends, if they ask me how they think their painting’s going (in art class), I’ll just suggest a couple of things I think would make it better, like, “perhaps you could like put more stuff in the background to make it look less bare.” or something.

Actually my painting that time… they all took the mickey because I started off painting with primary colours, so my painting looked orange. ok, it WAS orange. But I just went and ignored what they said and done what I had planned to do - the orange was for shadows, I had the layers of paint on top translucent - and then they were all saying it was good.

I agree with Flanker, a kid won’t see critisism the way an adult will, and I think that can damage a kid’s self esteem a lot. If you tell them their painting sucks, maybe they won’t even paint again, and there will be no chance of improvement.

I just think a kid will be more hurt than thankful for constructive critisism. Kids don’t think like adults do, they don’t have that “it’s better for me in the long run” kind of thinking developed.

/me remembers one time when she was playing checkers with her father, and her mother saw a great move but wouldn’t tell her what the move was… I was offended for like years, I couldn’t understand why my own mother refused to help me out!

If a kid paints someting and is to young to paint well, I would just say it was good. If they are old enough to develop artistically, and they do not, and their paintings are bad, I would not criticize, but I would definatly not tell them it was good.
“Oh, that’s neat, but painting is not for everyone. maybe you should play the guitar.”

When I first saw this I thought it was about this:

Wow, that scenario NEVER happened to me!
(The kids are afraid of me :good:

Painocus: Hi, kids wanna show me your drawings, before my dog rips you soul apart and sends you to the dark, flaming mushroom death? :wink:
Kids: :crazy: )

As someone who used to work in a school with kids, I can say one simple thing.

There is no such thing as being too young to paint well. To really judge an image a child has done, you NEED to know the child and their abilities. Unlike an adult where you can look at an image and have an opinion about the painting and skill, a child is much different.

A child is not only still learning, but they express themselves differently both artistically and verbally. Anyone who has a much younger sibling may even remember times when they have seen something and rather than saying “oh, doesn’t that look nice!” They may compare it to other things they like or know of.

To the observer this would seem weird as to why a child was saying strawberry while pointing at an aeroplane, but they do, because that is how they express themselves.

So you do need to know the child, to understand how well that child has truly done.

To criticise a child’s work will only harm that child’s self-esteem, it will not help them at all. Even constructive criticism can be taken the wrong way, as a child will not understand just why you don’t like something or why you are saying it’s rubbish.

If you really want to help a child improve, make a suggestion like: Hey, I really like this bit. I wonder what it would look like if you did “x” instead.

While they may not do it next time they draw, it will be in their mind and putting it out as a question may peek the child’s curiosity and they may just try it and see.

Yeah, so did I…

Personally i prefer the “Beat you kids” article Better.

I laugh so hard when i read it

[size=59]The "One, two, shut the hell up! :rofl:[/size]

On topic, I wouldn’t criticize a kid’s art, unless…

  1. He is cocky about it (aka: YeAH I AM SO MUCH BETTER THEN YOU! An example of this is one time i found out my friend’s little brother’s friend ( :crazy: ) played piano. I asked him how long he has been playing and he responded “well, i bet i’m better then YOU!” )

  2. i feel like really, and i mean REALLY being a total jerk. This has not happened… yet…

I am undecided on how to react to children’s work. I do want to keep them motivated to learn how to do it better, but I see so many of my peers that are completely unable to handle criticism. They think that everything they do is the best, and instead of fixing their work or trying to get better through criticism, they become hostile. I think that this mindset stems from reactions to their work as children.

Interesting question.

Personally i don’t find it easy to criticise anyone, even constructive critisism. I fear confrontation too much.

When my younger cousins showed me drawings, I just commented on the bits i honestly thought looked good. Actually, the eldest, once he reached 10 he could draw better than me :lol:, so it wouldn’t be fair to criticise him in a subject i’m very poor at.

I think you should only judge a childs work by comparing it to previous things they themselves have done. Because individuals have different styles and some learn quicker than others. Say “The trees in this picture look better than in the last one, You’re really improving” Comments like that would be encouraging and help them understand what their strengths and weaknesses are.

If the child is a relation and you don’t like any part of their drawing, i don’t think telling them that would be very helpful. Because your opinion which is most important to the child, is just one of many.

Only if they have the guts to criticize me :razz:

No…there’s art in everything, and every person’s got their own way of expressing it :smile:

(And if that wasn’t smultzy enough for ya, then forget it, I agree with all of ya :roll: )

I’d try to tell them how their “art” isn’t so magnificent, but that they can get better the more they practice. If they were enthusiastic abouth their latest crayola monstrosity, I’d gladly give them the gift of humility in the form of a truthful talking-to.

It IS great. All art is beautiful, especially made by young children. It’s beautiful in it’s own special way.

I can’t criticize, because I don’t think there really is anything to criticize. It’s kind of capturing the happiness and innocence a young child feels into a picture. Sometimes I smile, laugh and say that it’s great. I ask what these shapes are, and they usually are really excited telling me what it is. Other times I try and recommend and teach them how to draw a bit better (although I’m terrible at drawing) and they’re usually excited for all of the attention the can get. :content:

I really think that inspiring them and giving them more excitement and enjoyment for what they did can progress them as an artist. They’ll develop their skills naturally and as they age I can slowly criticize how they draw.

…You guys are right. Kids need encouragement in order to improve. :good:

I think the best way to go about it is to critisize compared to the other things they can acomplish and compared to the kids talents. for example if a kid is good at drawing, you should encourage him and critisize him as compared to how he/she draws normaly. but if they are out of thiere element, depending on their age, tell them to do what they are good at and if appropriat critisize the work fully.

Yea i do a lot of reading about psychology.

you should say how “awesome” it is even if it isnt that good lol… its good for self-esteem and development and all that good stuff. however id only say its wonderful if theyre like 5 or younger

If it sucks, I’ll say it sucks. Regardless of age.

i don’t think we should tell a child that his art or anything sucks. You can either say “okay i’ll lie straight out and tell him its great.” or you can say “i recognise there is a beauty in the picture, that is reflected by the effort and passion that went into the work.” either way its better to be positive if its a kid.

Yeah, its definetely harmful to their self esteem to say their work sucks. And anyway, to the people who are saying its doing them harm to lie, remember, kids grow up and learn things on their own anyway. Like we all know what sucks now, and i bet we can all say we were still in primary school when we started to realise who had talent in art and who didn’t. :tongue: I knew i sucked in the 5th grade, i didn’t need anyone to tell me or rub my frikkin nose in it. :grin:

if your wife is pregnant and putting on weight, and she asks “am i fat?” do you tell her, “yeah, honey youre huge, what the hell happened?”. No, in special situations (kid looking for reassurance in their work, fat wife looking for reassurance about her figure) its okay to spare someones feelings.

Sorry to press the point :cool: