My 6 year old nephew likes to draw. Most of the drawings have been of the family, animals and locations we visit or that he would like to visit. Until recently, I wouldn't describe any of these images as being dark.
Over the last fortnight, some of the images have been dark. To cite 2 examples:
- One drawing was of a saber-tooth tiger surrounded by 3 human hunters with spears. There was a lot of red on the page indicating blood
- One drawing was of the family dog, who sadly passed away in October last year. Most of the drawing was fine, except the dog was urinating heavily. My nephew thought this aspect to be hilarious
Now I think it is important to give some background of his home life:
- He is actually very kind. He treats younger children very well and likes meeting the neighbours' friendly pets
- His parents are going through a rough patch at the moment. His father (my brother) is suffering from a midlife crisis and is having an affair. This is well known to everyone in the family except my nephew
- There has been bereavement in the family. As mentioned, the family pet died a few months ago, and his paternal grandfather died 2 years' ago
When I saw the drawings I didn't know how to respond. Part of me feels that it is beneficial for him to express his feelings, whereas another part feels concerned about the social stigma associated with the drawings if other people found out about them.
My questions are:
- Should I be worried about the darker aspects of his drawings?
- How should I respond to them?