Decode Your Child’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 days gone by 40 years, I’ve used children’s Coloring Web pages as an important part of my pediatric practice. At each well-child visit start at 4 or 5 5 yrs . old, our nurse asks the kid to “give color a picture of your family doing something.” To simplify the procedure, each exam room has blank white newspaper on the clipboard with a black colored 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. An individual 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 essential to identify and validate. It can indicate cultural patterns that provide me a much better understanding of some manners or beliefs. I always ask the parents for their impression of the color page, because our dialogue can yield even more information that may well not come up in any other case.
A major caveat here: We all want to find hidden meanings in Color Pages, but watch out for overinterpreting. It’s not a good idea to read too much into your son or daughter’s sketches. Instead, use them as an opportunity to talk with your child about what she or he has drawn. Then ask questions about them to improve communication between you. Do your best to avoid giving too many of your own impressions. I purposely keep the dialog very open-ended: “Tell me about your color. Who are the people in the picture? What are they doing?” For types of what you might be looking for with your own children, check out my analysis of the kids’ Coloring Web pages.
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This first picture is a great example of how artwork can be considered a springboard for chat. It was drawn by a patient of mine when she was 11. She acquired lived only 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 gradually and she was unusually cautious about leaving her mother to go to friends’ houses. She preferred to obtain friends come to her house and play while her mom was nearby. I had been worried that their close bond got truly 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 sessions. But with this colouring, I needed an opening. Just how they were positioned so closely jointly, and the actual fact that a short string connected the mother and daughter, stood out to me. ONCE I asked Mommy, “What do you think concerning this picture?” she primarily talked happily about her daughter’s colouring skills. But then she accepted that she could see what I’d been seeking to state about their relationship. We could actually discuss it, and she remaining the office motivated to help her little princess (and herself ) discover ways to separate psychologically while preserving their caring and close romance.
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Coloring skills often get started 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 cosmetic expressions, where family members are put, and what they’re doing. This second picture, drawn by way of a 5-year-old girl, can be an example of that. She drew her mom on the way 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 shows good self-esteem. It’s well worth noting that she put herself between her dad and sibling: When children are between 4 and 6 years old, they create a sense of these gender identity. As part of this normal developmental process, girls often get literally and emotionally nearer to their father (guys this age tend to get nearer to their mom), and the thoughts are temporary.