Ever wish you could read your child's mind?
Just study their art!
There is only one you. There is only one you. There is only one you.
We should be repeating this to our kids every day.
I’ve noticed my daughter, now 7, trying different personalities on for size occasionally, seeing if they jive with who she’s already decided herself to be. She’s knee deep in identity development at the moment. It’s fascinating to watch and important to keep an eye on as well...
The thing is, the decisions our kids make about themselves at an early age sticks around and sometimes it is fed to them from sources like other kids, teachers, other family members or (gasp) the tv... things like “I’m not good at math” or “I’m not pretty” or it could go the other way too… “I’m so awesome. Everyone wishes they could be like me.”
The most important thing we can do as parents, grandparents and caregivers at this age, in terms of their identity, is plant the seed that they are unique and that the only job they have here on Earth is to be themselves, their true selves, not a self they adopted or were handed by someone else. That who they are is perfect and beautiful.
One of the most beautiful ways children can express their uniqueness in the world is through art and through play.
I love saving my children’s artwork because it is like a visual diary of their thoughts, ideas, dreams and identity at that age.
Basically, their art and their play provides insights into their world that can help us understand them, relate to them and also help us see who they see themselves to be. Art is fun, but it’s also a tool we can use to help us care for our children’s developing identity.
So, if you feel compelled to keep your child's art, I don't blame you!! Luckily there have been advances in technology that allow us to put photo books together instead of keeping them locked away in a trunk somewhere in the attic.
I strongly believe that art is a gateway to your child's light and cherishing that light and the door that opened you to it is a great thing in my book!
Founder & CEO of Pottery Awesomeness, mom & artist
Stephanie has an Master of Fine Arts degree from the Savannah College of Art & Design