For a child, life is a clean canvas. We are the artists. We add colors: colors which teach them values, manners, creativity, responsibility…and add meaning to their lives!
Here are the 5 colors that I would want to paint on my child’s canvas:
The ‘Priorities’ Color
We must encourage our child to help understand and write down what is most important for him/ her. For example, it could be Family, Health, School, Football, Dance, Travel. Once it is clear, work with your child to create a daily plan so that they can paint the upcoming day with the colors that work best for them i.e. their priorities because ‘Days are our lives in miniature’!
The ‘Seek Help’ Color
There are times in life when the child will feel stuck or trapped in situations. The test he/ she is not prepared for, the bully who troubles him/ her in the bus, or even the color of shoes they want to wear. Tell your child that it’s perfectly okay to seek help when a situation like this comes. Don’t we all get in situations like these?! Help is available and solutions are possible. We just have to tell’em to use the seek help color!
The Gratitude Color
Many of my fellow parents tell me that their child is often worried or scared – scared of going to the washroom alone at night, someone under the bed, worried about grades. I am surprised that they still don’t know that Gratitude is the antidote to fear. This is one color that we must always have in our life.
In the night, before sleep, ask your child to write down the 3 things he/ she is grateful for today. It will take away their fears and make them focused on gratitude. Shift their (and your own) focus from what went wrong to what’s going right.
The Color of ‘Happyness’
Teach your children to be happy – is it as simple as it sounds?! Well, it is, if you teach them to enjoy their own company, if you help them take out time to reflect and be the Director of their own lives rather than being an actor all the time, if you encourage them to define what ‘happyness’ means to them!
The last and the most important color…
The ‘Keep Looking For’ Color
Some of the children are gifted -in academics, sports, or art. For them, it is clear what they want to do in life. But for others, it is important for the parents to help the children try ‘new’ colors, until they find the one that suits them the best. It is alright to make mistakes. Not all colors will suit everyone after all. Keep looking and keep enjoying the process.
So, while you pick up the brush to paint your child’s canvas do not forget to give a few strokes to your own lives. Remember, we have to lead by example! It is impossible to expect our children to be colored unless we ourselves are colorful. Parents after all are the ones who start coloring the life canvas of their children and then pass on the paint brushes to the child. So, take an oath mommies and daddys’ :
“I, [your name], pledge to add strokes to my own canvas before I stand up as an artist for my child.”
Ah! What better occasion to start coloring than the festival of colors itself!
Happy Holi Everyone!