Decode Your Child’s Coloring Pages
Children like to give color, and their work is a reflection of their internal world. Most kids don’t think about or censor their artwork. For the past 40 years, I’ve used children’s Coloring Internet pages as an important part of my pediatric practice. At each well-child visit beginning at 4 or 5 5 years old, our nurse asks the kid to “give color a picture of your family doing something.” To simplify the procedure, each exam room is equipped with blank white paper over a clipboard with a black color felt pen.
The family coloring helps me study development at a given instant, and it could word of advice me off to potential problems. An individual coloring is a snapshot of a child’s point of view — of her role in the family, her romance to other members of the family, and her self-esteem. In addition, it may show advantages in the kid and the family that are important to identify and validate. It could indicate cultural patterns that provide me an improved knowledge of some actions or beliefs. I always ask the parents for his or her impression of the colouring page, because our chat can produce even more info that may not come up normally.
A huge caveat here: We all want to find hidden meanings in Colouring Pages, but watch out for overinterpreting. It’s not smart to read too much into your son or daughter’s sketches. Instead, use them as an opportunity to talk with your child about what he or she has drawn. Then ask questions about them to improve communication between you. Do your very best to avoid giving too many of your impressions. I purposely keep the dialog very open-ended: “Tell me about your coloring. Who will be the people in the picture? What exactly are they doing?” For types of what you may be looking for with your personal children, check out my examination of these kids’ Coloring Pages.
This first picture is a superb exemplory case of how artwork can be considered a springboard for discussion. It was attracted by a patient of mine when she was 11. She got lived by itself with her mother since beginning and she has no siblings. On the surface, her physical health, schoolwork, and interpersonal development were just fine. But she made friends slowly and she was unusually cautious about leaving her mother to go to friends’ properties. She preferred to obtain friends come to her house and play while her mom was nearby. I was concerned that their close connection got in the way of her learning how to split up from her mommy, which is a necessary part of development.
I hadn’t been able to understand this point across at earlier office appointments. But with this coloring, I had developed an opening. The way they were placed so closely mutually, and the fact that a brief string connected the mom and little girl, stood out to me. AFTER I asked Mommy, “What do you consider about this picture?” she at first talked proudly about her daughter’s coloring skills. But she admitted that she could see what I’d been attempting to state about their marriage. We could actually talk about it, and she remaining the office determined to help her little girl (and herself ) discover ways to distinguish psychologically while preserving their adoring and close relationship.
Coloring skills often start to tell a tale in kindergarten. Although kids as of this age tend to use simple keep figures, you will often decide on things up from facial expressions, where members of the family are put, and what they’re doing. This second picture, drawn by the 5-year-old girl, is an exemplory case of that. She drew her mother on the way left, followed by the family dog, her father, herself, and her 8-year-old brother. The lady drew herself as bigger than her parents — this typically shows good self-esteem. It’s well worth noting that she located herself between her father and sibling: When children are between 4 and 6 years old, they create a sense of the gender identity. As part of this normal developmental process, girls often get bodily and emotionally nearer to their father (guys this age tend to get nearer to their mother), and the feelings are temporary.