These past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the topic of parenting. Our role as parents, I see, is to prepare our children for life, teaching them to be responsible and care for themselves and the world around them. Throughout the process, we can look to support them to be who they are, attuning to their feelings, responsive to their needs, encouraging them to communicate openly, and to understand and accept others.
The question for us perhaps is:
To what extent do we encourage our children to be who they are, or, expect them to be who we think they should be?
When we expect children to do or be what we think is best, many of us do it without even being aware of it, prompt dependency can build and we deny the opportunity to learn independently.
Children of course need guidance, boundaries and some rules, to give them a sense of security, to understand self and others. And, they need time and space to use their imagination, to play and be spontaneous. The impulse to play, to be curious, is instinctual, so it’s good to nurture it as it feeds our child’s creativity. We ourselves can be role models. Each one of us is creative, and, creativity shows up in diverse ways. Singing, dancing, painting, drawing, story-telling, making a wonderful meal, the way we dress, cultivating a garden, or building a car or an aeroplane, there are limitless ways. Focus on having fun and doing things together rather than having a permanent to-do list! When we have a need to keep busy, we miss the joys of living in the moment.
Our creativity feeds whoever it touches. It gives outwardly and feeds us inwardly.
It is in fact the process rather than the result of our creative efforts that helps build self confidence, teaches our children to build healthy relationships, learn what their precious gifts are, and concentrate on bringing innovative ideas to life.
We’re here to have fun and to thrive. Encourage your children’s creativity and they will flourish. Encourage them to play alone, and, play together joyously. Teach them ‘you can do it’, there are no limitations, and you nourish their potential. Celebrate your children’s uniqueness!