Color The Memories Custom Coloring BooksWritten by: Cameron Print This Article
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We ran across this story in the Winter 2008 issue of USAA Magazine on page 7. For those of you who don’t know, USAA is an insurance and financial services company that specializes in serving active and retired military members and their current and former dependents.
The story goes that USAA member DaLonna Rimsky wanted a way to keep her kids thinking about their father who was overseas working in the Air Force. She came up with the idea of custom coloring books that are created using family photographs turned into coloring book line drawings. An example using one of her family photos is below.
Most kids love coloring books, especially those around ages 3 to 10. Coloring books that incorporate their absent family members keep them thinking about loved ones who are away. Besides keeping memories alive, they may also spark conversations about the family members depicted in the coloring books.
While this is a great idea for military families, we think that it also applies to children with divorced parents. Keeping both parents and their extended families involved in the lives of children is important to their long-term mental health and well-being. It’s also critical to keeping important relationships alive.
Ideally, in a cooperative divorced family, pictures of both parents should be placed in the childrens’ rooms in each home. This is especially important for small children as they have trouble remembering their loved ones and are reassured by having pictures of them available on their walls at their viewing heights. The family coloring book pictures could be one very personal way of doing this.
We do caution you, however, that in cases of parental alienation and high-conflict divorce, especially those involving mental illness on the part of a vindictive parent, these coloring books could increase the conflict level if they are shown to the hostile parent. In such bad circumstances, we’d suggest the parent who introduces the family coloring books use them during their custody or visitation times. The colorings could be kept in that parent’s home, or be used as gifts to other relatives who could then take photographs of themselves posing in front of where they put the filled-in coloring book pages and send them back to the kids to let them know they are thinking of them and appreciate the gift.
The books are priced at $19.95 per copy that includes 10 custom color book pages. They can be purchased through the Color The Memories web site.