Parenting: Finding Time For Creativity

Like most people, the arrival of the New Year moves me to do some reflection of the previous year and have thoughts around my intentions for 2011.  I like to document my successes rather than my “failures” or what didn’t go well.  For me, every new client who gained some valuable insights from me that they can easily put into action, was a success.  Programs I led that went smoothly and were a positive experience for me as well as the participants, were a success.  Maintaining my exercise regime throughout the year, was a success.  There were many things.

I was recently reminded of the value of creativity and how participating in something creative, nurtures my soul.  I love to scrapbook, especially cards, and I’m becoming more and more interested in playing around with photogrpahy.  I also love to decorate.  There is something tremendously satisfying when you give yourself a chance to unleash your ideas and implement them.  It’s freeing.  There are no rules or restrictions. The great thing is, there are many, many ways to express ourselves creatively.

As a parenting coach, when a parent comes to me with problems they’re having with their kids, I like to approach it holistically.  Offering alternative ways to discipline is only one dimension of the whole picture.  Very often as we get further along in the coaching process, I sense there’s something going on in the parents’ lives.  It might be with just one parent, or it could be with both.  Often I sense there’s something missing in their lives and they feel unfulfilled.  The feeling of lack of fulfillment leads them to lash out at their kids because they’re frustrated.  Usually kids are just being kids which means messes, tantrums, loud noises, fighting between siblings, lack of compliance and so on.  If we have a general feeling that something in our lives is missing, our tolerance for a lot of the normal chaos that goes along with family life, is very low.  When I take the time to address that part of a parent’s life that might be calling for attention, virtually every single time, we discover they have given up a hobby or not pursued something they’ve always wanted to try.  Most of the time what’s missing, is some form of creative expression.  Yes, having kids means our time is no longer our own.  We simply can’t absorb ourselves in our own passions when we have young children to care for.  Once we realize though, that choosing not to put time aside to do the things we love, is having a negative impact on our parenting, we make adjustments.  We find the time.  Any gift we give to ourselves, we also give to our family.  We are simply able to present our best to the people who matter the most.  This year, take time to figure out what’s missing in your life and find a way you can fit it in.  Make time to express yourself creatively.

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