Coloring and Connection

Coloring and Connection

Johnny is a five-and-a-half-year-old boy who recently entered the Safe Families program. He’s staying with a host family while his mom is trying to get into a drug treatment program.

Johnny got to meet with his mother for a visit one day recently. When he arrived back home, he was very agitated. He was having a hard time figuring out how to regulate his emotions.

Gary, the host dad, asked Johnny about a picture that he had in his hand that he had colored with his mom. Up to this point in the hosting Johnny had decided that he didn’t want to be a part of coloring or creative activities when his host-mom had asked him.

Gary mentioned that he liked to color and encouraged Johnny to come sit with him and talk about the picture. Together they colored another picture in the book and talked about it. They chose which colors to use and discussed the image they were coloring. Through this simple activity of coloring together Johnny was experiencing “being seen” by Gary. As a result, he started to ease up and begin to let Gary into his world. This experience of being seen and known created positive activity in Johnny’s brain. It was such a good time that Johnny shared it with his mom at their next meeting.

God created us to be seen and connected with other people. That’s why we believe so strongly that hosting- besides providing basic safety for a child- can also be an important part of the healing process.


Christy Silverthorne
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