The science of parenting indicates that parenting is more art than science. The goal of Science is to find answers and results that can be be replicated again and again. Art is about communicating and expressing deep and meaningful feelings and ideas, with each creation a bit unique. Art is about seeing the world from many different perspectives, all of which add richness to our lives.
Parenting is a process of finding creative solutions, not absolute answers because children only learn what is important to know when they are in relationship to the important people in their lives- most especially their parents. And as we all know relationships are messy- full of uncertainty, ambiguity and misunderstanding. Tolerating the messiness, and accepting that each person, parent and child, sees the world from their own unique vantage point is what the art of parenting is all about.
In back and forth conversations with your child, you share your minds. You share your thoughts, feelings and beliefs with your child and encourage your child to share back. In this way the two of you together are carving out the fine tuning of your child’s brain and sculpting the set of social skills, self-regulation skills and open-minded belief systems that will enrich the future potential of your child’s development.
It has to be a creative process because children learn best when they feel safe to explore their environments and discover in a trial and error way. Your relationship with your child therefore must allow safe room for your child to explore and discover things on their own in the relationship with you. Your child will need to try out many different ways of interacting with you, in that trial and error way, in order to discover what works best. Some people use the term ‘testing the limits’ for this trial and error process. I think that the term ‘testing’ puts a negative spin on it. I prefer calling it simply learning, in this case learning how to be in a social relationship.
Be a Reflective Parent to bring out your creative parenting juices!