From Dr. Jane's Notebook
Family Activities and Traditions
Pablo Picasso's father was an art teacher, who no doubt was thrilled over his son's
artistic leanings. When children show talent or interest in an area, it is a joy to watch
that interest unfold. But interests and talents are not predictable, so today's parents
may find themselves in a quandry deciding which lessons and organizations to join. To help
sort out the decision process, here are a few ideas.
- Listen to the rhythm of your children. From the day they are born, children develop
according to their own pace. It is easy to fall into the trap of comparing children to one
other, but they are really quite unique. Children carefully choose their own toys and are
amused by different things. Try to see the world through their eyes and discover the
things that truly delight them.
- Interests and Talents run in families. It is fascinating to watch the family
transmission of inclination. Artistic ability, a musical ear, and athletic skills are just
some of the benefits of inheritance. As children get to know the various members of their
extended families, they may be naturally attracted to hobbies and interests which can be
shared from one generation to the next.
- Children develop identity through belonging. When children join teams, classes,
religious groups, the scouts or other youth organizations, they develop a sense of who
they are in relation to the rest of the community. As a result of interacting with other
children and adults, they learn relationship and social skills. These memberships teach
cooperation, competition, and interpersonal rules. Long-range they help kids cope with the
- Parent-Child Adventures promote bonding. Parents often believe that parent-child bonding
is an "infancy-thing". But bonding and re-bonding must take place throughout
life. Children and adults change on a continuous basis. We often lack the time and
opportunity to really get to know our children. Travel experiences, parent-child group
weekends and one-on-one time can do wonders to revitalize parent-child relationships.
- Childhood is a source of lifelong memories. Though many days may seem long, childhood is
fleeting and our kids are grown before they realize. Unfortunately, children will remember
all of the bad times. To balance their account, be sure to include many positive and
memorable experiences. My daughter and I just returned from a mother-daughter Girl Scout
weekend in New York City. This great experience and our wonderful memories will last
Childhood is a time when children discover who they are, who they can trust, and how to
navigate through their lives. It is a time when they learn most easily because they are
"open" to learning and less inhibited by self-doubt. Inside each one of our
children is a complete human being who just happens to be small, young and inexperienced.
Realizing that the events of their lives will shape their growth, we must remember:
Everything that happens to them counts!
ęCopyright, 1993, 1995, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
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Last Updated October 17, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon,