Decode Your Child’s Coloring Pages
Children love to give color, and their work is a reflection of their internal world. Most kids don’t think about or censor their artwork. For days gone by 40 years, I’ve used children’s Colouring Pages as an important part of my pediatric practice. At each well-child visit starting at four or five 5 years old, our nurse asks the kid to “give color a picture of your loved ones doing something.” To simplify the process, each exam room is equipped with blank white newspaper on a clipboard with a dark colored felt pen.
The family coloring helps me study development at a given instant, and it could tip me off to potential problems. A single color is a snapshot of a child’s perspective — of her role in the family, her relationship to other members of the family, and her self-esteem. It also may show talents in the child and the family that are important to identify and validate. It can indicate cultural patterns that provide me an improved understanding of some behaviours or beliefs. I always ask the parents for his or her impression of the colouring web page, because our chat can produce even more information that may well not come up in any other case.
A huge caveat here: Most of us want to find invisible meanings in Colouring Pages, but be cautious about overinterpreting. It’s not smart to read too much into your son or daughter’s sketches. Instead, use them as an possibility to talk with your child about what he or she has drawn. Then ask questions about them to enhance communication between you. Do your very best to avoid providing too many of your impressions. I purposely keep the conversation very open-ended: “Tell me about your colouring. Who are the people in the picture? What are they doing?” For examples of what you may be looking for with your own children, check out my evaluation of these kids’ Coloring Web pages.
This first picture is a great exemplory case of how artwork can be a springboard for discussion. It was attracted by an individual of mine when she was 11. She had lived alone with her mom since birth and she’s no siblings. On the top, her physical health, schoolwork, and social 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 mother was nearby. I got worried that their close relationship got truly in the way of her learning how to separate from her mommy, which really is a necessary part of development.
I hadn’t been able to understand this point across at prior office appointments. But with this colouring, I had developed an opening. Just how they were located so closely mutually, and the actual fact that a short string connected the mom and little princess, stood out if you ask me. WHILE I asked Mom, “What do you think concerning this picture?” she at first talked happily about her daughter’s coloring skills. But then she accepted that she could see what I’d been hoping to say about their relationship. We were able to discuss it, and she kept the office determined to help her girl (and herself ) discover ways to isolate psychologically while retaining their caring and close romance.
Color skills often start to tell a story in kindergarten. Although kids at this age have a tendency to use simple stick figures, you can sometimes pick things up from facial expressions, where family are placed, and what they’re doing. This second picture, attracted by the 5-year-old girl, is an exemplory case of that. She drew her mom on the very good left, followed by the family dog, her dad, herself, and her 8-year-old sibling. The lady drew herself as larger than her parents — this typically demonstrates good self-esteem. It’s well worth noting that she put herself between her dad and sibling: When children are between 4 and 6 years old, they create a sense with their gender identity. As part of this normal developmental process, girls often get physically and emotionally closer to their dad (young boys this age have a tendency to get closer to their mom), and the emotions are temporary.