Decode Your Child’s Coloring Pages
Children love to give color, and their work is a representation of their internal world. Most kids don’t believe about or censor their artwork. For the past 40 years, I’ve used children’s Colouring Webpages 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 kid to “give color an image of your family doing something.” To simplify the process, each exam room is equipped with blank white newspaper on the clipboard with a dark felt pen.
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The family coloring helps me review development at confirmed instant, and it may tip me off to potential problems. A single color is a snapshot of your child’s perspective — of her role in the family, her marriage to other members of the family, and her self-esteem. It also may show strengths in the child and the family that are essential to recognize and validate. It could indicate cultural habits that provide me a much better understanding of some behaviors or beliefs. I usually ask the parents for their impression of the coloring page, because our conversation can deliver even more information that may not come up in any other case.
A big 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 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 offering too many of your own impressions. I purposely keep the conversation 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 may be looking for with your personal children, check out my evaluation of the kids’ Coloring Webpages.
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This first picture is a great example of how artwork can be a springboard for chat. It was attracted by an individual of mine when she was 11. She had lived alone with her mother since delivery 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 go to friends’ houses. She preferred to acquire friends come to her house and play while her mother was nearby. I was concerned that their close bond got truly in the way of her learning how to separate from her mother, which is a necessary part of development.
I hadn’t had the opportunity to get this point across at prior office appointments. But with this colouring, I put an opening. The way they were put so closely together, and the fact that a brief string connected the mother and daughter, stood out to me. When I asked Mom, “What do you consider about this picture?” she initially talked happily about her daughter’s coloring skills. But then she accepted that she could see what I’d been striving to say about their romance. We were able to talk about it, and she left the office determined to help her little girl (and herself ) learn how to separate psychologically while maintaining their loving and close relationship.
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Colouring skills often commence to tell a story in kindergarten. Although kids at this age tend to use simple stick figures, you can sometimes opt for things up from facial expressions, where family are put, and what they’re doing. This second picture, attracted by way of a 5-year-old girl, is an example of that. She drew her mother on the way left, accompanied by the family dog, her father, herself, and her 8-year-old brother. The lady 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 create a sense of these 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 closer to their mom), and the feelings are temporary.