Tuesday, April 27, 2010

PTTC Part 11:The Still Point

"A pot has beautiful sides.
The emptiness inside
makes it useful.
Suggesting, guiding, teaching, and lecturing,
although well intentioned,
often creates confusion rather than clarity."

I like the pot analogy because there are spaces we are supposed to fill and spaces we should let remain empty. When I was younger, I would paint or draw with the intention of filling every blank space on the paper. When my drawing was "finished," it wasn't enough for me and I'd keep working it until I inevitably messed up and "ruined" the whole thing, or filled the paper to the brim and created a masterpiece of confusion.
Later, I learned about the importance of blank space in artistry. Often, it's not the spaces we fill, but the spaces we leave blank, that determines the power in a piece of art. I did not learn that lesson until way after adolescence and I'm only beginning to apply it to my life.

Some days, if I'm not reading book after book to my son, or giving him engaging new toys, or taking him outside and pointing to all the different things, I get panicky and somehow convince myself that I'm not being a good mom, and I'm not fostering a love of learning, because I'm just letting my child entertain himself while I do the dishes! This is far from the truth, but there is constant pressure on mothers to do everything right or else their children will grow up to be failures. Each child must be bilingual! Each child must learn to read at kindergarten! Kids need constant exposure to new environments! This is what a new mom is bombarded with, and it's hard to measure you're own parenting and NOT come up short!

However, do I really believe all this hype? If I did, my child would have every minute of every day scheduled with structured, parent-led learning. Why can't he explore on his own and learn things that interest HIM? Some kids have no interest in learning a second language, but love naming all the different kinds of insects. There are some things that a child must receive guidance on, but there are many more things that the child can learn at his own pace and in his own time. :) Great! Less stress for me!

1 comment:

  1. Hi

    beautiful post and so very true. I love your wisdom.