I was filling up the School Admission Form of a nearby Waldorf Steiner School, when I very proudly wrote, “Even before I knew I wanted to be mother, I knew which school I would send my child to!” Giving my child the right environment to blossom has been my only criteria in choosing the school. Neither I want my child to top the Board exams nor do I want him to hang out amongst the so-called higher society children. All I want is that my child should breathe freely and live happily with just the right value system in place.
There are a lot of things that I want to do when my child is a little older. And before I forget all these genius ideas (thanks to the cumbersome routines in life); I want to archive them here. So here’s presenting you a list of the 10 things that I will do to propose a ‘Creative Environment’ for my child.
- A Dedicated Wall for all sorts of Creative Expression: Since very young, maybe from the time he starts scribbling on the wall; I will assign him a wall and make him understand that this is his canvas and whatever he needs to do, he needs to do here. As he grows older, we will perform this ritual where every year on the eve of his birthday, we click a picture of what he has done to his wall and next day get it repainted for him to begin his new journey. I believe (fingers crossed) that as he grows older, he will make his wall a yearly project to creatively do something – maybe as he grows, he will do things I haven’t imagined at this point – going beyond the sticking posters and doodle art; he may just surprise us with some out of the world plaster of paris sculpture or carving or what not.
- A ‘Thought for the Day’ Corner: Like we have our Facebook wall, where we type out our status “What’s on your mind?” – I will create a corner with a white board or probably something fancier, where a portion is assigned to every family member. And each day, or whenever they feel like – they should update their status there! And I will lead by example – so if I am angry at anything on a particular day – then probably I’ll write a quote or a status around it (just how subtly people do it on Facebook). I want to believe that this will help me read my child’s mind in a very non-interfering way where unconsciously for him the one place to express – be it happiness or excitement or vent his anger or disappointments is that wall and he will not worry of his parents judging him because they do that as well. Hopefully, before turning to wrong company or wrong substances; he will turn to the wall first!! (Again too ideal in my head – though really hopeful that it should work!)
- Creative Tiffin Boxes for Outings: I must admit that this is not my original idea – but inspired from one of those DIY videos that were doing rounds on Facebook a few months back. Each time we are out – to a friend’s place or picnic or anywhere – I will carry tiffin boxes that have a scribbling pad and some pens and colors to keep my little on busy on the go.
- Making Reading a Family Activity: Reading is a virtue no doubts! My dad tried really hard when I was younger to lead me to reading, but as adamant as kids can be – I never pursued reading as a child. It was much later that I realised how liberating reading can be. And then I thought I missed out on a lot of stuff because I started late. So, every night I shall dedicate a time when the family reads together and hopefully discusses as well. While introducing Enid Blyton, I will also read the same books. So not only do we read together but also have so much fun discussing it. And then, when my little one is older, he will be left to chose according to his will what he wants to read.
- Mentoring a Weekend Story Teller: Story telling has to be a bedtime ritual for sure. But once he grows a little older I want to start pushing him to tell me stories instead. May be on weekends, it is his turn to tell me a story. May be he will look for ideas all week-long to be able to narrate a really interesting tale. Or may be he will be really bored and will find excuses. But in either case, I will certainly tell him stories at bedtime.
- Promoting Waste Management in a fun way: Making dustbin bags out of paper or reusing the old tins and bottle to do something fun – something or the other to consciously remind them that they really need to sort out themselves and manage their waste (in the head or in their bins!)
- Celebrating the Monthly Gadget Free Day: One day a month, soaking in the sun, breathing in the greens, shopping some plants and enjoying a quite picnic – a must do!! No need to even take out the camera to capture the moment – mind cherishes memories better than any scrapbook or album ever can.
- Bullet Journals: I have always been the one to make elaborate to-do notes or packing lists. And it has really been one of my favorite habits of myself. I want to take the legacy forward and encourage my child to take to making bullet journals. In ways, these small things keep you going when life’s not going according to your plan.
- Never let him study too hard for exams: I studied really hard a few days before my exams and hence all that I learnt then has been forgotten now. I will make sure that my son understands concepts as concepts. It is ok if he forgets to write the answers in the right words as far as he has understood what is being taught.
- Travel souvenirs in a Trunk: I love travelling and my child, as a child, wont have any other choice so will tag along everywhere we go. I will make him a trunk and ask him to store that one thing that he bought from the new place we went to and attach a note to it explaining what he feels about that thing or the trip as a whole or any particular incident there. I want him to know that travelling is not just about posting good-looking pictures on Instagram; it is way beyond that. And every trip you take, has something to add to your life and something to take away. If we could keep a note of some interesting moments – one day, when feeling really low about how unfair life has been – this can be that magic trunk that will instantly export you to all the best moments of your life. You wont need a shrink to sort you out – you will value your life yourself!