Last evening I sat in a meeting and heard a participant saying, Why don’t our children ……….? You can fill in the blanks, but what he was really saying was, why aren’t they doing what I want them to? Why aren’t they conducting their lives just as I do?
He might have benefited from Robert Genn’s message this morning. Robert is a visual artist who has also published a twice weekly newsletter for many years that now appears in multiple languages all over the world. The wisdom he has gleaned as an artist benefits us all. Here’s what he has to say about parenting:
Show is always better than tell.
Your kids already know your opinions.
Kiss them regularly if they’ll let you.
Be alert when they approach you with ideas.
“Encourage them to colour outside the lines.
Keep in touch. Let them know where you are.
Let you and your spouse be sails, not anchors.
Field trips are more valuable than classrooms.
One of the best things you can say is “try it.”
Non-judgmental curiosity beats seasoned guidance.
When kids hang out in the studio, you pick up tips.
Let the kids visit with weird friends and relatives.
The development of imagination requires their privacy.
Always have materials available. Try not to be stingy.
Encourage enterprise. Let them make and sell lemonade.
They understand if you travel during the drum-set stage.
A kid’s opening sentences are not always topic sentences.
If they don’t know what you think, they are likely to ask.
From time to time be dull and stupid. The kids will rally.
Before making suggestions, give it some thought. They have.”