Decode Your Child’s Coloring Pages
Children like to give color, and their work is a representation of their interior world. Most kids don’t believe about or censor their artwork. For days gone by 40 years, I’ve used children’s Color Webpages as an important part of my pediatric practice. At each well-child visit beginning at four or five 5 years of age, our nurse asks the child to “give color an image of your family doing something.” To simplify the process, each exam room is equipped with blank white paper over a clipboard with a african american felt pen.
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The family colouring helps me survey development at a given moment in time, and it could tip me off to potential problems. A single color is a snapshot of an child’s perspective — of her role in the family, her relationship to other family, and her self-esteem. It also may show advantages in the child and the family that are important to identify and validate. It could indicate cultural habits that provide me a much better understanding of some habits or beliefs. I usually ask the parents for his or her impression of the colouring page, because our discussion can deliver even more info that may not come up usually.
An enormous caveat here: Most of us want to find hidden meanings in Coloring Pages, but be cautious about overinterpreting. It’s not a good idea to read too much into your child’s sketches. Instead, use them as an chance to talk with your child about what he or she has drawn. Then ask questions about them to enhance communication between you. Do your best to avoid presenting too many of your impressions. I purposely keep the dialogue very open-ended: “Tell me about your coloring. Who are the people in the picture? What exactly are they doing?” For examples of what you may be looking for with your own children, check out my research of these kids’ Coloring Webpages.
This first picture is a great exemplory case of how artwork can be considered a springboard for dialog. It was drawn by an individual of mine when she was 11. She had lived exclusively with her mom since birth and she’s no siblings. On the surface, her physical health, schoolwork, and public development were just fine. But she made friends slowly and she was unusually cautious about leaving her mother to go to friends’ homes. She preferred to have friends come to her house and play while her mom was nearby. I had been worried that their close bond got 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 understand this point across at previous office appointments. But with this colouring, I had developed an opening. Just how they were placed so closely together, and the fact that a brief string connected the mother and princess, stood out to me. AS I asked Mother, “What do you consider relating to this picture?” she at first talked happily about her daughter’s colouring skills. But then she admitted that she could see what I’d been striving to state about their marriage. We could actually speak about it, and she kept the office determined to help her princess (and herself ) discover ways to split psychologically while keeping their caring and close romance.
Coloring skills often start to tell a tale in kindergarten. Although kids as of this age tend to use simple stay figures, you will often pick things up from cosmetic expressions, where family are put, and what they’re doing. This second picture, drawn by a 5-year-old girl, can be an exemplory case of that. She drew her mom on the very good left, accompanied by the family dog, her father, herself, and her 8-year-old brother. The lady drew herself as bigger than her parents — this typically displays good self-esteem. It’s worthy of noting that she placed herself between her father and sibling: When children are between 4 and 6 years old, they develop a sense of the gender identity. As a part of this normal developmental process, girls often get bodily and emotionally nearer to their dad (boys this age tend to get closer to their mother), and the feelings are temporary.