I’m a big believer in teaching our kids by walking our talk. They are watching and paying attention to everything we do. Everything!
If you have doubts about this, all you have to do is spend a day with my 2 year old. She mimics everything, trying it out for herself, seeing how it feels, making it her own.
All through life kids do this.. When they are teenagers they do it by testing the waters of adult behavior and activities. When they are in middle school, they wax and wane between pretending they are all grown up and spending time in the familiar space of childhood. And we have all seen our 2 year olds trying to sweep the floor or put on makeup or help with the dishes. They are watching us all the time!
So, what can we do to foster creativity, living with passion and living a life of purpose with our children? We can model for them, each and every day.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Share your dreams with your kids and do so often.
Talk about the things you love, why you love them, what it means to you to paint or write or travel, or do whatever it is that is YOUR thing.
2. Spend time working on your dream.
3. Talk to them about their passions and dreams.
Encourage the things they love, even if those things doesn’t make sense to you. Remember, always, that these are their dreams.
4. Seek out and find other grown ups who are living their dreams.
Spend time with them and let your kids spend time with them. You never know when someone will spark an idea or open up new possibilities for your little ones. Tara talks about this and it is a good lesson for all of us.
5. Give your kiddos opportunities to discover and explore.
You don’t have to be a painter to offer up paints to your 5 year old… give it them and see what happens. Turn on some funky African drumming music and watch how your 10 year old responds. Go explore the local art museum with your teenager – let them wander, give them space to see what they see.
6. Don’t do things just because you feel like you “should” be doing them.
We all do this. Lately I notice myself thinking about how I really should be sewing, something I haven’t done in awhile. I usually like doing it and it is fun to produce cute and pretty things and I know it teaches my kids that crafting and making things by hand is a good way to connect and be creative. But, the thing is, I am just not feeling it right now. That passion buzz is not igniting for me about sewing. I think that is should, but it’s not. So, me trying to force myself to do it because the should gremlins are talking, doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea. I want to teach my kids to follow their passions, not do things because they should.
7. Don’t be afraid to let passion, enthusiasm and that obsessive wanting to stay up all night working on something take over.
As mamas, we often focus so much on “balance” and not being selfish and focusing all of our energies on our children. But, if you are inspired and wanting to work on your thing – then do it!! Danielle LaPorte has a really good take on why balance is a myth. I couldn’t agree more. Most successful creative pursuits are the result of dedicated, hard, full on committed working on something. You can show your kids how to do this by doing it yourself.
The best thing to do is just get started.. work on your thing, find time for you passions, live your dreams. Remind yourself often that your kids are watching, they’re paying attention, they are learning from you all the time.
How do YOU teach your children about creativity, living with purpose and pursuing their dreams? Leave a comment below…