Don't Paint the Children
Susie E. Caron © 4/15/16
Write, Ride, Paint!
Yep. That's what I'm doing from now through the summer months. All winter long I write blogs, podcasts and work on the books I'd like to publish. Come spring I am chomping at the bit, just to get out and ride my horse Apple. However, recently I've also rekindled a passion I had acquired earlier in my life: I love to paint.
Currently, I'm painting some small items that will become Christmas gifts. I feel happy about these because I hope they will give their recipients some pleasure. However, I am learning how funny paint, canvas and brush can be.
Paint, for example, has its own mind and will often behave in unusual or unexpected ways as I lay brush to canvas. Sometimes, it's dry and goes on thick. Sometimes the tiny brush has hidden extra water in its housing and spills out when I least expect it. Sometimes it blends very nicely and sometimes it simply misbehaves. But I love it no matter what.
Brushes? Don't get me started on brushes. Why, just this morning I was telling my husband how I remembered that brushes each have their own personality. So, I am learning how to get along with each and every one, even the ornery ones.
This reminds me of the kids I've known. I never met a kid I didn't like. They're a lot like paint and brushes. Like paint, each child has a way of going about day to day life. Like brushes, each one has his or her own distinctive personality.
In my experience, (and life-long career) I've discovered that raising (or working with) children is a lot like applying paint to canvas with a bush. When I paint I can guide but I cannot change how each brush leaves its own distinctive - unique marks. I think it's important for parents to recognize that sometimes they're painting their children rather than letting their children paint.
Teaching children is necessary. Without it children, like wet paint, run wild all over the place.
However, attempts to make them into personalities of our own choosing, does them unnecessary harm.
As parents we must guide (teach) our children while at the same time, strive to create a life in which we encourage the development of each child's unique personality. This is more like teaching them to paint. However, to unleash their creative natures, they need something more.
Children require encouragement in order to develop their uniquely individual personalities.
Without your encouragement and support, children can develop damaged self-concepts. They can feel like they were painted with ugly colors or the wrong sized brush.
So, as parents, we must be certain to not paint our children. Instead we need to teach them how to use paint and brushes, but then we must admire, encourage and support their artistic expressions.
Do you paint with your children? That's a good way to support them. What do you do to support and encourage each of your children so they develop and express their own wonderful personalities?
Twee’ means you and me
Teaching children , then letting them paint.
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!