Children’s Emotional Immaturity
If we want to analyze character, temperament, and talents by looking at people’s handwriting, we should start with children’s writing because this is where character begins. Psychologists and psychiatrists have established that character development begins in childhood and that by the age of five, the behavior pattern has already crystallized. However, because few children learn to write before entering school, we must begin there.
When a child enters first grade at the age of six and gets familiar with the alphabet and the mechanics of writing, he concentrates on the construction of letters and words. The character of the kid does not emerge until writing becomes an unconscious habit, similar to walking, with more attention paid to the thought being expressed than to the physical act of writing.
The more a youngster is encouraged to act on his own initiative and take responsibility, the more independent he becomes in his ideas and actions, creating habits that manifest themselves in individual handwriting traits. The structure of childish handwriting, whether done by a child or an adult, is defined by roundness. Just as wax is shapeless and smooth until it is formed into a certain shape, so is developing character as portrayed in handwriting. Similarly to how wax can have a coarse or fine texture, intrinsic characteristics might be coarse or fine, easy or difficult to manage. We’re dealing with tough material if the pen pressure or writing is heavy, strong, and even. The substance is more pliable if the pen pressure is mild or delicate; this means the youngster is more sensitive, more open to positive or negative environmental effects.
When evaluating a child’s (or an adult’s) handwriting, it’s necessary to evaluate where he (or she) fits into the family constellation; it’s crucial for the development of distinguishing characteristics. A firstborn’s conduct pattern is frequently shaped by the pampering he receives as a child. In order to outdistance the elder child, the second child is frequently in competition with the first. As a result, the second child may become hostile. (This is a common tendency in the handwriting of salesmen, many of whom are second-generation.)
Because there is certain to be sibling rivalry where there are a number of children, the third kid, and so on down the line, will have a mixture of features ranging from possible sentiments of jealously, rejection, or deprivation to a need to prove himself. An only child’s characteristics are frequently comparable to those of the firstborn, with graphological signals of self-indulgence. As a result, a child’s place in the family constellation might have a significant impact on his or her personality.
Discipline is an important factor in shaping a child’s attitudes. A multitude of clues, such as the way the writing is spaced and the way the t’s are crossed, disclose it in handwriting. Messy papers frequently indicate a lack of collaboration and may indicate a problem with the youngster. It could be the result of a physical flaw; if so, it should be considered. A youngster who makes an effort to write nicely is likely to be neat and orderly in other areas of his or her life, as well as courteous and considerate of others. His tidy writing subsequently displays his desire to work with people and demonstrates his ability to respond to social situations.
Environmental Factors Affecting Handwriting
Handwriting grows more angular and unique as the youngster gains intellectual independence and the ability to take responsibility. We are all taught the same way of writing in school, yet if we looked at the handwriting of a group of youngsters five years after they graduated from elementary school, we would see significant disparities. Even handwritings that appear to be identical would exhibit a subtle difference, easily apparent to the trained eye of a graphologist.
Before the child completes elementary school, he or she may develop. In this case, we can presume that environmental factors played a significant role in shaping his psyche and character. His parents may be culturally affluent, and the child is so conditioned to learn and supported in his endeavors.
Parental and other contextual variables have a stronger impact on the formation of an only child’s character than schooling. Only children are occasionally sent to private schools where they may receive specialized teaching. This frequently contributes to the pampered child’s initial pattern of aloofness, selectiveness, and possibly snobbishness. The vertical angle and aesthetically styled structures distinguish the handwriting created in such a school, and it occasionally incorporates a printing technique known as manuscript writing. In those children who desire to rise above an environment that is distasteful to them, we may see the same kind of handwriting though the child may have gone to public school. Even at private schools, there are a few students who write with a free-flowing, rightward-leaning hand; nevertheless, these students may have siblings and hence have more developed social instincts. A child from a large family, in contrast to an only child, develops more expansiveness and respect for the rights of others, and may pick a vocation that requires him to interact with others. An only child, on the other hand, is more likely to exhibit many of the characteristics of an isolate and may have a harder time adjusting to a community that does not pamper him. His company will mainly consist of persons from his own social class or those with a high level of prestige and power.
The more gifted a child is, the more likely he is to be neurotic. This manifests itself in childhood as an inability to quickly acclimatize to daily routines, whether at home or at school. Despite his high IQ, he may be a bad student, and his behavior may worry his parents. At a young age, a youngster will often demonstrate creativity through sketching, painting, or writing. People who may have had issues as youngsters but have found a solution via creative expression abound in the arts. A child develops a sense of discipline by expressing himself creatively. When a youngster learns to discipline himself during his formative years, he gains a strength that he might not otherwise have. If a youngster acquires a clear goal early in life, as long as it is a socially acceptable one, his prospects of happiness and fulfillment are higher than if he is allowed to drift without learning to regulate himself.
Influences of the School
If instructors had a better understanding of what leads a child to write poorly, they could be a powerful force in helping to remedy some of the errors committed at home. (We’re not talking about children raised in institutions or those who have experienced a family breakup.) A youngster with poor or unreadable handwriting is likely to be disturbed in some way. If an older child continues to misspell or leave letters out of words, it could be a sign of brain damage, which would manifest itself in the child’s inability to learn rapidly or concentrate. Of course, like with a retarded child, this is extreme, but it is worth contemplating.
It’s a good idea to keep a close eye on the obstinate child, with compassion and understanding, to talk to his parents about his conduct, to request an encephalogram, or even to seek confirmation from a graphologist who specializes in children’s handwriting. Although this is not always the case, a defiant youngster could be mentally ill. Children who are withdrawn, unable to cooperate with others, show no interest in playing, and for whom writing is a huge effort, require extra attention.
Of course, there’s the healthy, clever child who despises routine yet learns quickly when introduced to new information. His writing may be illegible and unattractive, but it will indicate indicators of remarkable intelligence and aptitude and will be easily distinguished from that of the disturbed youngster by the graphologist. It could be a good form of dissatisfaction, as in the case of the athletic youngster whose overprotective mother forbids him from engaging in physical activity for fear of injuring himself.
Dedicated teachers will quickly notice the child’s motivation. They recognize the leader, the follower, and the lazy child – who is frequently the pampered one. They have little trouble identifying the troublemaker. We learned why the child was in open rebellion in many cases where the handwriting of parents was studied (as was done in a clinic for disturbed children). Any form of mischief was discovered to be an attention-getting strategy, and it turned out to be an indictment of too much dominance and not enough love. Parents and teachers should be encouraged to work together to bring out whatever positive aspects the handwriting shows and to take steps to redirect harmful behavior into productive channels.
The link between childhood mistakes and adult failure is clear, and unless these errors are addressed early on, a problem kid may grow into a problem adult. Even severe childhood damage, unless it is severe brain damage, may frequently be repaired if the child is made to feel wanted, loved, and that he belongs.
A child who does well in school does not always grow up to be an amazing adult. He’ll probably never be an innovator or iconoclast, whereas a little demon might. He could be the one who thinks too independently to follow the textbooks and goes on to become a “self-made man,” as the phrase goes. However, there is also the unmotivated rebel who may end up in prison as a result of antisocial qualities he had as a child. His parents will have no idea what drove him to crime, nor will they grasp that it wasn’t so much what happened to him as it was what he made of it.
Children with a High Level of Sophistication
The extremely perceptive growing youngster, mentally advanced beyond his years, is one who is frequently raised among adults rather than children his own age and who develops sophistication beyond his years. He is a product of our day, and he is frequently the child of modern parents who allow their children to attend cocktail parties. The modern mother, who is more interested in her own autonomous self-expression than in her children, does not often take the time or have the patience to play down to them – if she spends any time with them at all. Instead, she invites them to participate in her games, listen to the music she prefers, and even read literature she chooses. This leads to a more sophisticated growth of the child, which brings us face to face with many of today’s issues. We might see a little girl (fifteen or younger) advising her mother where to get off while imitating her mother’s fashion sense and self-centered tendencies. In our modern family gatherings, the old idea that “children should be seen but not heard” has long since vanished, and in many cases, the unchildlike child takes over the conversation and holds forth.