Discussion at the Cultural Forum focuses on how art helps children understand the world better at the 12th at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival
Sharjah, May 27, 2021: Art as a tool for therapy was the topic of an invigorating discussion titled ‘Understanding the World’, which took place at the 12th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF). The bilingual session led by two experts in the realm of arts opened focus on how children must be encouraged to express themselves through various forms of art so they can gain a better understanding of the world.
Speaking at the event virtually all the way from Geneva Switzerland, Art Psychotherapist Fransie Frandsen said art has an immensely therapeutic effect on children as it makes them aware of themselves. This subsequently leads to building emotional intelligence.
“When kids draw people, they have to decide whether to make them happy or sad, they have to choose their costumes and their colours, and so on. This detailed thought process that goes into conceiving and drawing characters from the animal and human world eventually sparks the child’s empathy towards them. Moreover, there are plenty of skills the young artists will develop as they start expressing themselves through art. Art is vitally important for children,” added Frandsen, who has authored the Alexander Questions book series.
Since children are born with an unrestricted view of the world, when it comes to creativity, both panelists were of the opinion kids should be given unrestricted space to express themselves artistically.
“When children express themselves through art, they don’t think of boundaries; they just keep drawing. We should appreciate this undulating spirit of theirs and the artistic expressions that are born out of it,” noted contemporary Egyptian artist, illustrator and painter, Magdy El Kafrawy.
“Don’t ever force a child to draw anything,” Frandsen added.
Elaborating on this further, she advised parents and adults in general to desist from crticising children’s artistic output. “If you tell them that the horse they’ve drawn looks like dog, that will silence a child’s creative and artistic spirit, more often than not.”