Search This Blog

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Colouring between the lines

"He needs to colour inside" said a random 4 year old as I sat beaming with joy and pride looking at my two year old colouring a picture at the local library .That triggered a flurry of thoughts in my head which was quickly interrupted again. "He doesn't know how to do it, does he?” she continued. I smiled back at her and appreciated her eye for art. At the same time I wondered if children 'need ' to do things a certain set way specially if its art. I also realised he didn't 'know' how to colour inside the lines yet but he knew something that most grownups don't that was to be himself, original, spontaneous and uncorrupted by the demands and regulations of social behaviour. Isn't the whole purpose of art to liberate oneself, to let oneself go, to give a free reign to your creativity. The end product I think is brilliant even though the pig is coloured in purple and green in addition to the conventional pink and the crayons have travelled the entire territory of the page regardless of the boundaries. Children seem to have an instinct for art which for me is beautiful without any imposition of rules and structure. After all it's their innocent interpretation of the world and them colouring their imagination with a riot of colours that makes them all so unique. Children are perfect just the way nature intended them to be - uninhibited, liberated and creative beyond limits even if that means colouring a pig green and leaving stray marks all over the page.

Preserving the magic of childhood


They come into this world as blank slates uncorrupted by anything. Then we do the programming and conditioning and mess around quite a bit. Truth is these tiny beings are such marvels just the way they are.

They aren't afraid to express 

They are real and genuine. If they are sad they cry, if they are bored they whinge, if they are angry they scream and if they are happy they laugh uncontrollably. They don't filter out or regulate emotions. As a parent I 'try' to let my son emote and express himself freely. We try not to promote prototypes like 'boys don't cry ' or 'only naughty children scream', I believe the more anyone keeps it bottled up the more it will bother them. Though recently my four year old son has been saying "There's only water in my eyes" every time there have been tears following an event that didn't go according to him. He's definitely picked up some social protocol regarding crying and tears. I do try to validate every feeling that he's experiencing and let him express it as long as it's not posing any safety concerns.

They stand their ground 

As a parent it's awkward and embarrassing when your child is having a meltdown in the middle of the shopping centre. I’ve been there quite a lot and it's quite a familiar place for me though it's dreadful. It's tricky because it requires negotiation skills and balancing out your child's demands with providing 'enough' for the child and not feeling 'mommy guilt'. However there is definitely a flip side to it. The positive aspect of children who have a mind of their own is that they are headstrong and they chase what they want with all their might!
They forgive easily 

We as adults hold on to things and keep marinating in events and experiences of the past. Little children are so forgiving. The other day my four year old happened to accidentally brush a chair against a classmate's arm. The little girl went up to the teacher in a distressed state while holding on to her arm. My son said 'I'm sorry Catherine' and her tears quickly changed to a huge smile followed by “it's ok”. If only adults could let go as easily. Sigh!

They ask

Children know if they want something they need to ask even if it goes to annoying extents. Even as adults all we need to do is ask whether it's asking the universe to give us our answers or even asking for things which are rightfully ours. Children are relentless when it comes to the never ending why's and how's. They never shy away from asking all these questions and they are always reminding us to seek.

They let their creative juices flow

They aren't scared of being judged or failing so they express themselves uninhibited. Whether it's building creative objects with Lego or it's using objects for purposes that they weren't originally designed for or just making up words that don't even exist. They do it for the experience rather than concentrating on what's right or wrong! Isn't this how most inventions and discoveries have happened?

They are non-judgmental 

Children don't make friends based on size, gender or colour. They just go and get on with it without any labels or judgments whatsoever. How easy is it for them to just go to a play area and start playing with whichever kid is

They mind their own business

I love the beauty of parallel play. They are together and they are still happily going about their own business without being nosey or interfering with what the other child is doing. They have their moments of cooperative play and they are comfortable being together yet doing their own thing.

They Love truly and unconditionally

They shower you with kisses and cuddles .They are not afraid to express their feelings even if that means drowning you in a pool of dribbly drooly kisses. There are never any conditions to the love either. They are always there loving you and they still want you even when you are telling them off. Recently my son has started saying "I won't be your best friend if you don't play with me". I am not sure where he's picked that up from but I always reply with "But I'll always be your best friend no matter what!":)

Not all kids do all these things all the time but most kids do display a lot of these characteristics. They could definitely help us learn / unlearn a lot! :) How amazing would it be if we could catch some of their infectious qualities and live life with the same sense of wonder and enchantment! A world where superheroes exist and fairies spread pixie dust :)