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 think about or censor their artwork. For the past 40 years, I’ve used children’s Color Web pages as an important part of my pediatric practice. At each well-child visit beginning at 4 or 5 5 years old, our nurse asks the kid to “give color an image 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 color helps me review development at confirmed instant, and it could tip me off to potential problems. A single coloring 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 talents in the child and the family that are essential to identify and validate. It can indicate cultural patterns that give me an improved knowledge of some manners or beliefs. I usually ask the parents for his or her impression of the colouring page, because our discussion can yield even more information that might not exactly come up in any other case.
An enormous caveat here: We all want to find invisible meanings in Coloring Pages, but be cautious about overinterpreting. It’s not a good idea to read too much into your son or daughter’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 supplying too many of your impressions. I purposely keep carefully the discussion very open-ended: “Tell me about your color. Who will be the people in the picture? What are they doing?” For examples of what you might be looking for with your personal children, check out my evaluation of these kids’ Coloring Pages.
This first picture is a great exemplory case of how artwork can be a springboard for dialogue. It was attracted by an individual of mine when she was 11. She possessed lived together with her mom since birth and she has no siblings. On the surface, her physical health, schoolwork, and communal development were just fine. But she made friends little by little and she was unusually wary of leaving her mother to visit friends’ homes. She preferred to possess friends come to her house and play while her mother was nearby. I was concerned that their close relationship 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 visits. But with this colouring, I had formed an opening. Just how they were positioned so closely along, and the fact that a brief string linked the mom and little girl, stood out to me. WHENEVER I asked Mommy, “What do you think concerning this picture?” she in the beginning talked happily about her daughter’s colouring skills. But then she admitted that she could see what I’d been hoping to state about their marriage. We were able to talk about it, and she kept the office determined to help her child (and herself ) discover ways to distinguish psychologically while keeping their adoring and close marriage.
Colouring skills often start to tell a story in kindergarten. Although kids as of this age tend to use simple stick figures, you will often pick things up from facial expressions, where family members are put, and what they’re doing. This second picture, drawn by the 5-year-old girl, can be an exemplory case of that. She drew her mother on the considerably left, followed by the family dog, her dad, herself, and her 8-year-old sibling. The lady drew herself as bigger than her parents — this typically shows good self-esteem. It’s worth noting that she positioned herself between her father and brother: 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, young girls often get literally and emotionally nearer to their daddy (boys this age tend to get nearer to their mom), and the feelings are temporary.