Decode YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER’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 Colouring Web pages as an important part of my pediatric practice. At each well-child visit starting at four or five 5 years of age, our nurse asks the child to “give color a picture of your family doing something.” To simplify the process, each exam room has blank white newspaper over a clipboard with a black felt pen.
The family colouring helps me survey development at a given instant, and it could hint me off to potential problems. A single color is a snapshot of an child’s viewpoint — of her role in the family, her relationship to other family, and her self-esteem. It also may show strengths in the kid and the family that are important to identify and validate. It can indicate cultural habits that give me a better understanding of some behaviors or beliefs. I usually ask the parents because of their impression of the color page, because our conversation can deliver even more info that may not come up in any other case.
A huge caveat here: Most of us want to find hidden meanings in Coloring Pages, but be cautious about overinterpreting. It isn’t a good idea to read too much into your son or daughter’s sketches. Instead, use them as an possibility to talk with your child 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 carefully the chat very open-ended: “Tell me about your colouring. Who will be 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 examination of the kids’ Coloring Web pages.
This first picture is a superb exemplory case of how artwork can be a springboard for dialog. It was drawn by a patient of mine when she was 11. She experienced lived by itself with her mother since birth and she’s no siblings. On the top, her physical health, schoolwork, and social development were just fine. But she made friends little by little and she was unusually cautious about leaving her mom to visit friends’ houses. She preferred to have friends come to her house and play while her mom was nearby. I got worried that their close bond got in the way of her learning how to separate from her mother, which really is a necessary part of development.
I hadn’t been able to get this point across at prior office sessions. But with this color, I had fashioned an opening. Just how they were positioned so closely together, and the fact that a short string connected the mother and child, stood out if you ask me. AS I asked Mommy, “What do you think concerning this picture?” she at first talked proudly about her daughter’s colouring skills. But she accepted that she could see what I’d been attempting to state about their relationship. We were able to discuss it, and she remaining the office encouraged to help her daughter (and herself ) learn how to distinguish psychologically while maintaining their caring and close romantic relationship.
Color skills often start to tell a tale 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 members of the family are put, 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 much left, accompanied by the family dog, her dad, herself, and her 8-year-old sibling. The girl drew herself as larger than her parents — this typically demonstrates good self-esteem. It’s worthwhile noting that she put herself between her daddy and brother: When children are between 4 and 6 years old, they develop a sense with their gender identity. As a part of this normal developmental process, girls often get bodily and emotionally nearer to their father (children this age tend to get nearer to their mother), and the emotions are temporary.