Decode Your Child’s Coloring Pages
Children love to give color, and their work is a reflection of their inner world. Most kids don’t believe about or censor their artwork. For the past 40 years, I’ve used children’s Coloring 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 procedure, each exam room has blank white newspaper on the clipboard with a dark felt pen.
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The family coloring helps me study development at a given moment in time, and it could word of advice me off to potential problems. An individual coloring is a snapshot of a child’s perspective — of her role in the family, her relationship to other family members, and her self-esteem. In addition, it may show talents in the child and the family that are important to identify and validate. It could indicate cultural patterns that give me a better knowledge of some actions or beliefs. I usually ask the parents because of their impression of the coloring page, because our chat can deliver even more information that may not come up otherwise.
A big 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 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 very best to avoid presenting too many of your impressions. I purposely keep the conversation very open-ended: “Tell me about your coloring. Who are the people in the picture? What are they doing?” For examples of what you might be looking for with your own children, check out my examination of these kids’ Coloring Internet pages.
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This first picture is a superb example of how artwork can be considered a springboard for chat. It was drawn by a patient of mine when she was 11. She got lived only with her mother since delivery and she’s no siblings. On the top, her physical health, schoolwork, and public development were just fine. But she made friends slowly and gradually and she was unusually wary of leaving her mom to visit friends’ houses. She preferred to have friends come to her house and play while her mom was nearby. I was worried that their close bond got in the way of her learning how to separate from her mommy, which is a necessary part of development.
I hadn’t had the opportunity to understand this point across at earlier office sessions. But with this colouring, I had formed an opening. The way they were positioned so closely alongside one another, and the actual fact that a brief string linked the mother and little princess, stood out if you ask me. AS I asked Mother, “What do you think about this picture?” she in the beginning talked proudly about her daughter’s colouring skills. But she admitted that she could see what I’d been seeking to state about their romantic relationship. We were able to talk about it, and she left the office determined to help her daughter (and herself ) learn how to separate psychologically while keeping their adoring and close marriage.
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Colouring skills often get started to tell a tale 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 placed, and what they’re doing. This second picture, attracted by the 5-year-old girl, is an exemplory case of that. She drew her mother on the very good left, followed by the family dog, her daddy, herself, and her 8-year-old sibling. The girl drew herself as larger than her parents — this typically displays good self-esteem. It’s well worth noting that she put herself between her daddy and sibling: 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, girls often get literally and emotionally nearer to their dad (children this age have a tendency to get closer to their mom), and the thoughts are temporary.