Art 'unleashes' a child's EQ

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 August, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 August, 1998, 12:00am

An author has urged parents to encourage their children to take up drawing, saying the medium is a useful channel to express their emotions.

Paul Lee Po-man, who has compiled a book, The World of Bonnie and Connie , which features 200 works by his twin daughters, believes art is closely linked with children's emotional quotient (EQ).

'EQ is a hot topic world-wide. Actually, the subject can be translated into a kind of social problem today . . . I don't think it has been seriously discussed in traditional Chinese society,' he said.

Mr Lee was speaking at a seminar at the Hong Kong Visual Art Centre in Hong Kong Park, where some of his daughters' paintings as well as his own photographs were on display.

Mr Lee said concern about youngsters' emotions has been aroused because families and schools had failed to provide appropriate cognitive and moral education at an early age.

Drawing was 'an engine that accelerates children's EQ', while story- telling, poems, light Chinese literature and role play would also help.

'For children, drawing is the most effective and simple way to express their feelings about daily life experiences and human relationships; for parents, it is a useful tool for moral and cognitive education,' he said. Mr Lee said he actively encouraged his daughters to try their hand at painting when they were very young.

'EQ emphasises the ability of emotional control and this ability can be nurtured before a child is seven years old,' he said.

Mr Lee called on parents to use interesting methods to motivate their children.

They could be encouraged to sketch caricatures at the beginning and then their scope gradually expanded to include body movements.

Ho also advocates an 'inter-ac tive effort' in which parents could join their children in creating their own cartoon characters. This way the adults could show how much they cared about their off-spring, as well as appreciate their efforts.

'Drawing has many advantages for children. It can help them recap their memories and is a very good mental exercise to enhance their creativity and patience.

'It's also an inter-active communication, which allows children and parents to easily start a conversation and understand their feelings in return,' Mr Lee said.