My little girl has started asking me this question after she presents me with her latest masterpiece, “What’s your favorite part?”
I know it’s her way of getting some reinforcement, validation, and positive regard. But she wants to know specifics. I can’t just say, “Oh, it’s great honey” anymore. So now I respond with something like, “I like the colors you chose, they look really nice together.” At this age, it’s impossible to be perfect. At any age it’s impossible to be perfect. Don’t look for perfection because it won’t be there. Here are some ways you can throw in a positive comment even when you are wondering what is so stellar about a few scribbles.
- If it’s handwriting she’s practicing, look for one or two letters she wrote especially well. “Oh, you did a great job on that letter N. Way to go.” The rest of the N’s could look terrible, but who cares? Use the same tactic for numbers.
- Look for something creative/unusual. Say so. To them, that’s a compliment.
- Comment on color choice. “You made a red and black spotted lady bug, just like they are in real life. Good observation.”
- Notice a place on the page where he stayed within the lines, point it out to him.
- Find your favorite color on the page, “I see you used teal. That’s my favorite color.”
- Is there something particularly special about the art? Glitter, a new kind of marker or pen? Mention it.
- Identify an improvement. “Last week when you were drawing hair bows, you had trouble with them. This week, you have really improved. Super!”
- Find a place of honor in your home to post the art for a day, a week, a month…fridge, bulletin board, mud room, etc.
- Finally, when all else fails ask him, “Well, what’s your favorite part?!”