I recently read an article by Barbara Finkelstein entitled, “What’s a Mother to Do?” which highlights research by Columbia University Psychology professor Suniya Luthar on the role of nurturing – not only children – but mothers.
Luthar poses the essential question to moms: “How can you nurture if you’re not nurtured yourself?”
The responsibilities of parenthood are endless. As a teacher who works closely with hundreds of families I hear about the demands -you are wondering if you’re ever doing enough for your child’s growth.
Being a mom is a 24 / 7 high intensity job. It is impossible to do it all! Children are inherently curious about everything at some point but you cannot provide all the enrichment with their every passing interest. Give yourself a well deserved break and be open to outsourcing experts in fields of study that your child is drawn to. An hour or two to yourself while your child is engaged with an activity in the next room – whether it is sports, arts, or science – gives you the liberty to catch up on YOU.
As an art tutor to elementary age children most of the families I work with have a vision of what they want to do for their child. Based upon their suggestions, I design and implement a sequential unit based on what medium (drawing, painting, or sculpture), topic, or genre of art your child is naturally drawn to. Are they into Bugs? Ballet? Trucks? Architecture? One idea can be the catalyst for a wide variety of projects and expand their knowledge of art history, art technique, and increase their sense of independence as a creative individual. The best part is that I make sure they clean up too!
It’s OK to relinquish control once in a while. Remember – your first masterpiece is YOU!
Finkelstein, Barbara. “What’s a Mother to Do?” TC Today December 2011: 47.
Christina Soriano is a K-5 art teacher in New York City. She studied Art Education at Teachers College Columbia University and Design at Cornell University. Visit christinasor