Sometimes I feel like I am stretching it to say that art fosters all these amazing skills like independence, leadership
along with the obvious things like creativity and joy.
But, honestly, that is what makes my art lessons what they are.
I believe art can and should guide children in learning that can develop them into adults who have a plethora of actual skills.
Stay with me. Giving a child an assignment that encourages sketching is actually an editing and self-reflection/ self-assessment lesson. I teach them to view their art with an attitude of development and asking themselves how they can make it better. This is called healthy striving and independent learning.
And, personal responsibility and empowerment.
It is teaching kids that they have the ability to work on something more and more and get better, without anyone forcing them. It is enjoyable learning.
That is where leadership grows. Humans who believe they can do something are leaders.
Mindfulness in a sped-up world is actually just paying attention. Is art, we use our "powers of observation" as I call it. We learn to slow down and NOTICE. We look at details. We look at shapes. We even look at our neighbor's art and learn to acknowledge their skill and compliment them without comparing our own work to theirs.
How many adults need to learn this very real skill? Exactly.
What about foresight? Teaching kids to wash their brushes, for example, is an excellent way to teach cause and effect, stewardship and foresight.
When brushes are left yucky, they dry out... and no one can use them later, including me. Children learn that if they want to paint next week, they must wash those brushes TODAY, after using them. Foresight is knowing that I am going to want to paint next week, so I better wash those brushes today, y'all!
Okay, I obviously could go on and on.
I think there are a whole lot of parents out there like me. Parents who want to prepare their children for a complicated adulthood.
Without sounding nasty, I think many of us are looking at a whole collection of young adults who are lacking the preparation that childhood was supposed to give them and want better for our children.
We are willing to provide the teachable moments.
We are willing to provide opportunities for them to learn all these skills, both practically and joyfully.
When we make learning a joyful part of personal development, it no longer becomes a "chore" to guide them to leadership. It is the antidote to entitlement and immaturity.
But, like you, I want my children to experience JOY as they go through these experiences so that they do not develop in the wake of crippling perfectionism.
Let's link arms, fellow parents, as we take away electronics and stand firm in our mission to develop leaders who love learning and are independent, confident, kind humans who know they were created for something awesome.
I'll handle the art opportunities, if you need me to. Send them to me at my art studio: The Artful Gathering. I am happy to do my part in this complex and amazing childhood we are all trying to provide! We can do it!