I love to color. It allows me to relax, indulge my creativity and just think (sometimes deep thoughts). Those of you who follow Peaceful Patterns Coloring Therapy know the many benefits of coloring for adults, but maybe there is something we may have all missed…
Some of my fondest memories both of my childhood and the growing up years of my 6 children involve coloring together. It is one thing to tell a child to go get their coloring books and color (usually to get them out of the way, quiet them down or to answer the “I’m bored!” litany.)
Coloring with you kids can be a delight for both of you. It does indeed calm them down just as it does for adults. Coloring is a happy time and allows you teaching moments that might not occur any other way. I remember with fondness the time chatting blithely with my grandmother about pretty much anything that was going on in my head. When I colored with my children there was real unity and they would open up while coloring unlike other times.
You know the drill. They come home from school and mom asks: “So how was your day?”. The child answers (most of the time) with one word. “Fine.” At this point you try again… “What did you learn today?” … “I don’t remember.” The book bag gets taken to their room and the next thing you hear from them is, “What can I have to eat, I’m starving.” and so it goes.
I know we are all in a rush these days and often now when children come home from school, the first thing they want to do is get on a tablet or computer or hang out with their cell phone. When you take time to offer to color WITH them, the focus changes, things calm down and the line to communication opens up.
Here are a few suggestions to make your coloring sessions with your kids fun and something they will actually look forward to:
- Make sure each child has a coloring book they actually like. Let them pick one out that appeals to them.
- Don’t restrict them to “kids” coloring books. Many adult coloring books are very whimsical and often have more interesting pages that kids can color with great joy and a sense of accomplishment.
- Have as many different art supply choices as you can manage: IE Crayons, Coloring Pencils, Markers (broad and fine-tipped), etc. Don’t break your budget. You can easily add to your collection of art supplies over time.
- Encourage your children (and yourself and your spouse) to display finished pieces in many ways: On family bulletin boards, on the walls in their room, on the fridge or even frame them nicely and use them to decorate your home.
- Don’t hammer them with questions while they color. Let them bring up topics. You may be surprised what comes out while you are in a safe coloring environment.
- Above all…KEEP IT FUN!
Coloring together may be a great new activity for you and your family. Don’t force it. Let it happen. I promise, you will be glad you did.