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Why doesn’t my son like to draw?
Q: My 4-year-old son has no interest in drawing. He is a great athlete, knows how to read and seems to be on target or beyond in every other area. However, the few times a week he sits down to draw or write he is incapable of drawing anything recognizable. It’s not that he’s trying to be abstract because he gets frustrated at his inability to make the simplest shapes or letters. I’ve tried everything I can think of to encourage him, but nothing seems to work. Any suggestions?
A: I wouldn’t be concerned about it. Not very often does a Leonardo da Vinci— who was great in art, architecture, science, engineering and poetry—come along. Most of us are good at some things and not so good at others. If your son truly “knows how to read” (even if you mean he can identify a few common words), is a good athlete and is on target in all other aspects of development, I wouldn’t worry that he can’t draw recognizable objects.

If you want to encourage progress in this area, I would suggest that you make certain he has plenty of toys that help develop fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination. Good examples would be puzzles, small building blocks and sorting games. Make certain which hand he prefers; many children his age have not fully declared their handedness. Help him use the preferred hand as much as possible. But don’t even give him paper, crayons or pencils until he asks for them.