Decode YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER’S Coloring Pages
Children like to give color, and their work is a representation of their inner 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 starting at 4 or 5 5 years of age, our nurse asks the child to “give color an image of your loved ones doing something.” To simplify the process, each exam room has blank white newspaper on a clipboard with a dark felt pen.
The family colouring helps me review development at confirmed instant, and it could tip me off to potential problems. A single color is a snapshot of an child’s viewpoint — of her role in the family, her romantic relationship to other members of the family, and her self-esteem. It also may show advantages in the child and the family that are essential to identify and validate. It can indicate cultural habits that give me a better knowledge of some behaviours or beliefs. I usually ask the parents for his or her impression of the color page, because our talk can produce even more info that might not exactly come up normally.
A large caveat here: We all want to find hidden meanings in Coloring Pages, but be cautious about overinterpreting. It’s not smart to read too much into your child’s sketches. Instead, use them as an possibility to talk with your son or daughter about what he or she has drawn. Then ask questions about them to enhance communication between you. Do your very best to avoid presenting too many of your own impressions. I purposely keep carefully the talk very open-ended: “Tell me about your color. Who are the people in the picture? What exactly are they doing?” For examples of what you might be looking for with your own children, check out my analysis of the kids’ Coloring Internet pages.
This first picture is a superb exemplory case of how artwork can be a springboard for talk. It was drawn 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 top, her physical health, schoolwork, and cultural development were just fine. But she made friends slowly but surely and she was unusually wary of leaving her mother to visit friends’ residences. She preferred to acquire friends come to her house and play while her mom was nearby. I had been worried that their close relationship got in the way of her learning how to split up from her mother, which is a necessary part of development.
I hadn’t been able to get this point across at previous office visits. But with this coloring, I had fashioned an opening. The way they were located so closely together, and the fact that a brief string linked the mother and little girl, stood out to me. ONCE I asked Mommy, “What do you consider concerning this picture?” she initially talked happily about her daughter’s colouring skills. But then she accepted that she could see what I’d been seeking to say about their romantic relationship. We could actually speak about it, and she kept the office determined to help her princess (and herself ) discover ways to separate psychologically while keeping their loving and close romantic relationship.
Colouring skills often start to tell a story in kindergarten. Although kids at this age tend to use simple stick figures, you will often opt for things up from facial expressions, where members of the family are put, and what they’re doing. This second picture, drawn with a 5-year-old girl, can be an exemplory case of that. She drew her mom on the far left, followed by the family dog, her father, herself, and her 8-year-old brother. The girl drew herself as larger than her parents — this typically shows good self-esteem. It’s worthy of noting that she put herself between her dad and brother: When children are between 4 and 6 years old, they develop a sense with their gender identity. As part of this normal developmental process, girls often get bodily and emotionally nearer to their dad (boys this age tend to get nearer to their mother), and the emotions are temporary.