Art and Heart



This study explores the perceptions and opinions of children toward the family. The analysis is based primarily on children’s drawings, interviews with children and observations on them, and literature review. The subjects of this study were 16 children from incomplete families, who participated in weekly drawing activities. In addition to the drawings by the children, data in the form of verbal descriptions and non-verbal expressions were collected throughout the drawing sessions via notes-taking, audio-taping, and photo-taking. The data were analysed to provide an understanding of the children’s definitions of the family, the functions of the family, the roles of the parents, what constitutes a “family member” in the minds of the children, the relationships and affection among family members, and the children’s expectations of the family. With such an analysis, it is hoped to explore the children’s perception of their family life, their feelings and emotions, and their outlook for the future.

The children had many expectations and hopes concerning their family, home, family members including themselves, and society at large. They also had many dissatisfactions, even complaints. While the children had not discussed much about the functions of the family, they placed much importance on its emotional aspects, and they had expressed emotional needs for parents. In the eyes of the children from incomplete families, “Children’s Home” is a place that satisfies their daily living needs, but it is not family as it lacks affection. In sum, by letting the children speak their minds through their own drawings and interpretations, this study provides a fresh perspective from children on their views of family, family members, as well as the reality and fantasy of life.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ResearcherHong KongChina

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