Decode Your Child’s Coloring Pages
Children wish 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 Coloring Pages as an important part of my pediatric practice. At each well-child visit beginning at 4 or 5 5 years of age, our nurse asks the child to “give color a picture of your loved ones doing something.” To simplify the procedure, each exam room is equipped with blank white paper on a clipboard with a african american felt pen.
The family coloring helps me study development at a given moment in time, and it could hint me off to potential problems. A single color is a snapshot of any child’s viewpoint — of her role in the family, her marriage to other family members, and her self-esteem. In addition, it may show talents in the child and the family that are important to recognize and validate. It can indicate cultural patterns that provide me a better knowledge of some conducts or beliefs. I usually ask the parents because of their impression of the coloring web page, because our talk can yield even more info that may not come up in any other case.
A major caveat here: We all want to find invisible meanings in Coloring Pages, but watch out for overinterpreting. It’s not smart to read too much into your son or daughter’s sketches. Instead, utilize them as an opportunity to talk with your son or daughter about what she or he has drawn. Then ask questions about them to improve communication between you. Do your very best to avoid supplying too many of your impressions. I purposely keep the conversation very open-ended: “Tell me about your colouring. Who will be the people in the picture? What exactly are they doing?” For examples of what you might be looking for with your personal children, check out my examination of the kids’ Coloring Internet pages.
This first picture is a great exemplory case of how artwork can be considered a springboard for conversation. It was drawn by a patient of mine when she was 11. She acquired lived by itself with her mother since birth and she has no siblings. On the top, her physical health, schoolwork, and social development were just fine. But she made friends slowly but surely and she was unusually cautious about leaving her mother to visit friends’ homes. She preferred to get friends come to her house and play while her mom was nearby. I used to be worried that their close relationship got truly in the way of her learning how to separate from her mom, which is a necessary part of development.
I hadn’t had the opportunity to get this point across at earlier office visits. But with this colouring, I had an opening. The way they were positioned so closely jointly, and the actual fact that a short string connected the mom and girl, stood out to me. When I asked Mother, “What do you think about this picture?” she at first talked proudly about her daughter’s color skills. But then she admitted that she could see what I’d been attempting to say about their romance. We could actually discuss it, and she left the office determined to help her girl (and herself ) discover ways to isolate psychologically while preserving their loving and close marriage.
Colouring skills often start to tell a story in kindergarten. Although kids as of this age tend to use simple stay figures, you can sometimes decide on things up from facial expressions, where family members are placed, and what they’re doing. This second picture, attracted by a 5-year-old girl, is an example of that. She drew her mom on the way left, followed by the family dog, her father, herself, and her 8-year-old sibling. The girl drew herself as bigger than her parents — this typically shows good self-esteem. It’s well worth noting that she placed herself between her dad and brother: When children are between 4 and 6 years old, they create a sense of their gender identity. As a part of this normal developmental process, girls often get literally and emotionally closer to their father (boys this age have a tendency to get nearer to their mother), and the thoughts are temporary.