Most parents nowadays are always on the lookout for ways to help their kids be “the best” that they can be. Some even feel pressured to provide anything and everything their children may need to develop their talents.
Although this pressure may cause us to worry that we’re not helping our kids discover their God-given gifts and abilities, parents must remember that as long as they do their best to provide appropriate activities for their kids, everything else will seem easier and more manageable.
For those who feel that their children are artistically-inclined here are some tips from parents, who also happen to be educators and/or teachers too.
First, veteran educator and teacher-trainer Myra Menguito, who also happens to be a mom to Paola Maria (13), Joaquin (8), and Tanya Maria (4), suggests her “6 P’s”:
“First: Be PRESENT. Be a hands-on parent who is keenly observant of her children’s interests. One can only identify her children’s interests if she is closely aware of what her children love doing. Of course, this should be done in a very natural manner, and that is through the child’s natural environment.
Second: PLAY! To identify and explore the children’s interests, parents should provide plenty of opportunities for play. Play not only helps parents identify their children’s inclinations, but it also helps develop these because through play, the children are not pressured; rather, they have fun doing what they love best. Therefore, it is paramount that the home and school should provide the needed materials and atmosphere that will encourage the children to explore and create.
Third: PROVIDE the environment. Parents should also expose their children to a variety of activities where they are able to enrich their skills, such as art classes, dance classes, voice lessons, playing musical instruments, cooking activities, etc. The key is to provide activities where children’s creativity and resourcefulness are honed. This not only develops their artistic skills, but their cognitive, social, emotional, and physical skills as well.
Fourth: POSITIVE discipline. This means that parents should always be encouraging and motivating, non-judgmental, and non-threatening. It is discipline centered on love and affirmation that helps children develop positive self-regard, which allows them to see their dignity as sons and daughters of God. With this sense of worth, they will believe that they can do so much with the skills and talents given to them by God.
Discipline is also important for children to continuously make an effort to enhance whatever they are good at. It helps them focus and achieve. This being the case, discipline is also important for us adults as well.
Fifth: PRAISE. Show your kids how much you appreciate them. Praise them. Give them unconditional love. Make them feel they are loved and valued ALL THE TIME, regardless of what they have to give.
Sixth and most important: PRAY. As a Catholic parent and educator, I believe that all these are possible only through God’s grace! We pray for ourselves as we serve as stewards of our children. We pray for the children so they grow up with the right motivation and values/virtues.”