The time to open the lines of communication with your child is when they are young. A two or three year old may not be able to have an hour long conversation and tell you everything that is running through their mind or that may be bothering them, but if you take the time to pull out some coloring pages and sit with them for some creative play you will find that they do have their own ways of communicating with you.
When children are allowed to fill in coloring sheets they will often display parts of their personality by favoring some colors over others or by coloring in a particular fashion. For example, one little girl may color her princess coloring pages with short, careful strokes so that she is certain not to go out of the lines while another little girl with the same princess coloring pages scribbles quickly in a hurry to get done first.
Both of these coloring styles are a way for children to communicate valuable information to a parent. You may learn that the first little girl is careful and clean about everything she does and you may recognize a competitive spark in the second child.
If you pay attention, there will be many other unspoken communications with a young child just by coloring with them!
As children grow older they will start opening up and talking more as you color with them. Parents who just hand out coloring pages for kids and go off to do other things are missing a valuable bonding opportunity. Most children will start to talk more openly once they are distracted with something to color.
Coloring is a great time to ask your children about their day or to bring up topics which may be bothering them but they are hesitant to talk about at other times.