How To Raise a Well-Rounded Child (Or Not)

I’ll be the first to admit; my children are not well-rounded individuals.

My daughter is a reading maniac and can rock your socks with the amount of author knowledge she knows. My middle son gives me a run for my money when it comes to a game of chess and recently my 2 year old drew a stick person that has catapulted him into the ranks of Picasso.

This is usually how you will find my daughter

This is usually how you will find my daughter

Why can they do these things?

I can only attribute it to the fact that these are the things that I like to do. These are the things they see me do.

When it comes to sports though; that’s a whole other story.

I spent a lot of time in my youth at hospitals after my forays with sledding, tree climbing, tennis, softball and general lack of grace.

Therefore, as I entered adulthood I pretty much shied away from anything physical. My husband is really no different. He spent his short-lived baseball career as a child picking grass in the outfield. I think my children were kind of doomed from the get-go with the make-up of our DNA.

This has not stopped us from signing our children up for sporting activities. I do want them to be well-rounded. I want them to try new things. I want them to understand about sportsmanship, the importance of exercise, and the difference between a basketball and tennis ball.

Our adventures into this arena have been comical at best. It’s clear we do not have the next athletic phenom on our hands after sightings of my son scoring goals for the other team in soccer, my daughter dancing like Elaine from Seinfeld or just general wincing from all of them when a ball gets thrown their way.

Part of this is due to their young age and I’m sure their hereditary genes but a large part of it falls on me. They do not see me do anything remotely athletic.

This summer I am trying to change that. We are utilizing our pool pass to the fullest. I dusted off my old baseball glove and I have been giving lessons on jump roping without trying to injure myself in the process.

It pains me to do these things both figuratively and literally because in my head I am thinking about all the great art projects I want to do and all of the wonderful books I want to read with them as I am sweating my hiney off.

Will it pay off in the end? I don’t know but we’ll give it a shot this summer.

I do know that after this summer I am going to sit down with the 2 year old and work on his artistic skills more. A talent like his can not be wasted! Maybe Tiger Woods could make a hole-in-one in golf at the age of 3 but he could draw a stick man like this?

This is my 2 year old's picture. I drew the guy on the right and asked him if he could do that. This was his first try!

This is my 2 year old’s picture. I drew the guy on the right and asked him if he could do that. This was his first try!

It’s Kind Of Like Cloud Watching

I made up a new activity to do with my 5 year old son, Bency this past weekend. Well, I should say, I think I made it up. It’s such a simple concept that it has probably been around for a hundred years and I just never heard of it.

It came about because my 7 year old daughter, Iris had a friend over and they didn’t want to include Bency in their games. Bency was feeling left out so I told him I would play with him.

First we played a very long game of chess which I finally beat him at then I suggested we do some drawing together.

Bency sighed and groaned, “Oh please don’t try to teach me how to draw Superman again.”

Since Bency is my little artist and loves to draw I had tried teaching him how to draw Superman last week. I thought he was ready to advance beyond stick people. He wasn’t. I tried to keep the lesson simple but apparently moving from stick people to Superman is too big of a leap.

So I quick came up with another idea.

I’ll call it Cloud Drawing.

This requires two or more people

One person starts out by drawing a 1-3 inch line on the paper in any direction either straight or with curves (anything goes it just has to be 1-3 inches).

The next person starts off where the last person left off (keep the lines connected) drawing their own 1-3 line or curve.

This continues until the lines finally find their way back to the starting point and you have one large shape.

Now the fun part is trying to decide what it looks like. It’s similar to cloud watching!

We turned the paper every which way and would decide what it most resembled and then I went in and added details to bring what started out as a blob to life!

This was a great activity and would make for an excellent road trip game, some rainy day fun or in our case a cold, winter day with no one to play with except your Mom!

Here are some examples of the ones we made:

Bency and I both saw a tree with a bird perched on it so I went in and added bark for the tree and an eye for the bird!

Bency and I both saw a tree with a bird perched on it so I went in and added bark for the tree and an eye for the bird!

Bency saw a pirate standing by a tree...I didn't see it at all so he went in and added the details on this one!

Bency saw a pirate standing by a tree…I didn’t see it at all so he went in and added the details on this one!

We saw a puppy in this one but I had to add the tail and eyes!

We saw a puppy in this one but I had to add the tail and eyes!

What They Will Remember

As a small child I began my love of art and drawing.

My favorite and earliest memories were drawing with my mom each night at the kitchen table.

She would provide me with brown grocery store bags to color on.

Our medium of choice was chalk but crayons were fine too.

I remember sitting for hours each night just coloring with my mom. I don’t remember what she colored but I know my favorite was Strawberry Shortcake.

I know this because my mom kept all of my artwork. I have a huge container of my artwork ranging from ages of around 3 up to my teenage years.

When I look through it clouds of dust swirl from all of the chalk drawings.

Those were some of my happiest times as a child. Just sitting with my mom doing my favorite activity.

I try to keep this in mind when dealing with my own children.

It does not take expensive toys to make them love us or keep them entertained. It doesn’t require doing elaborate crafts or expensive outings.

They just want us to be with them; spending time and enjoying who they are. That is what they will remember.

pictures I did when I was around 4 years old

 

picture I did when I was around 4 years old. Strawberry Shortcake and Orange Blossom