Decode Your Child’s Coloring Pages
Children want to give color, and their work is a representation of their internal world. Most kids don’t think about or censor their artwork. For the past 40 years, I’ve used children’s Coloring 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 child to “give color a picture of your loved ones doing something.” To simplify the process, each exam room has blank white newspaper on a clipboard with a black felt pen.
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The family colouring helps me survey development at confirmed moment in time, and it may hint me off to potential problems. A single coloring is a snapshot of your child’s viewpoint — of her role in the family, her marriage to other family members, and her self-esteem. In addition, it may show advantages in the child and the family that are essential to recognize and validate. It could indicate cultural habits that provide me an improved knowledge of some behaviours or beliefs. I usually ask the parents because of their impression of the color page, because our conversation can yield even more info that might not exactly come up often.
A large caveat here: We all want to find concealed meanings in Colouring 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 son or daughter about what she or he has drawn. Then ask questions about them to improve communication between you. Do your very best to avoid giving too many of your impressions. I purposely keep carefully the dialog very open-ended: “Tell me about your coloring. 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 exemplory case of how artwork can be considered a springboard for dialogue. It was attracted by a patient of mine when she was 11. She experienced lived by themselves with her mother since beginning and she’s no siblings. On the top, her physical health, schoolwork, and social development were just fine. But she made friends slowly but surely and she was unusually cautious about leaving her mom to go to friends’ properties. She preferred to acquire friends come to her house and play while her mom was nearby. I used to be concerned that their close connection got truly in the way of her learning how to separate from her mommy, which is a necessary part of development.
I hadn’t been able to understand this point across at past office trips. But with this colouring, I had fashioned an opening. The way they were located so closely together, and the actual fact that a brief string connected the mom and princess, stood out if you ask me. ONCE I asked Mommy, “What do you consider relating to this picture?” she primarily talked proudly about her daughter’s coloring skills. But then she admitted that she could see what I’d been striving to state about their romantic relationship. We could actually discuss it, and she still left the office motivated to help her child (and herself ) discover ways to divide psychologically while preserving their loving and close marriage.
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Colouring skills often start to tell a tale in kindergarten. Although kids as of this age tend to use simple stay figures, you will often pick things up from facial expressions, where family members 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 mother on the much left, accompanied by the family dog, her father, herself, and her 8-year-old sibling. The lady drew herself as larger than her parents — this typically demonstrates good self-esteem. It’s worthy of noting that she positioned herself between her father and brother: When children are between 4 and 6 years old, they develop a sense of these gender identity. As a part of this normal developmental process, girls often get physically and emotionally closer to their father (males this age tend to get closer to their mother), and the thoughts are temporary.