The Power of Doodling (page 2)

The Power of Doodling

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Updated on Feb 14, 2014

Should I stop my child from doodling?

Even with all of this research, parents and teachers may argue that some kids are truly distracted by doodling. Andrade says that this may be true for some. If a child who often doodles is struggling academically, the first step should not be to forbid doodling. Instead, explore why he's finding it so hard to concentrate and determine what would make the lesson more interesting.

If all else fails, you can always use the following test: forbid your child from doodling for a given period of time, and see how he reacts. Does he listen attentively and retain the information, or does he seem to have a glazed, inattentive expression, and remembers little of what he heard? If he demonstrates that he's actually absorbing the information while doodling, then encourage him to continue doing so.

Should I encourage my child to start doodling?

If your child is able to fully focus on the lesson without doodling, there’s no reason to encourage her to doodle. “The important message is that the best thing is to concentrate fully on the lesson,” says Andrade. “Doodling helps when you are struggling to do that, and it helps because it is better than daydreaming. Daydreaming is very distracting because we daydream about things that matter to us, often about things that worry us or excite us. Whereas doodling can be paused at any moment, daydreams are like a good story, hard to abandon once you've started.”

Every kid is different, and every kid's way of learning is different too. What makes one kid learn and thrive might carry another away to la-la-land. The good news is, doodling isn't the universal sign of someone not paying attention. If your kid is able to learn while doodling, then there's no reason to break the habit. So if that maze of scribbles and shapes doesn't prevent him from remembering that ho-hum history lesson, then tell him to doodle on!

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