Good Parenting: Teaching your children with creativity

 Something I plan to blog about regularly are techniques for good parenting.  I believe that good parenting takes a healthy dose of creativity.  So, today I wanted to share something that I’ve been practicing recently with my children: the “Keys to the Castle” method. In other words, I’ve been giving my kids the tools to construct their own experiences and learn intuitively.  I think it’s a great mix-up from very hands-on parenting, which by no means is a bad thing – it’s just a ton of work! Changing the pace to let your kid explore in a semi-structured environment is helpful for their learning as well as your energy levels.

     One example of what I’ve done with my youngest son is the “Gauntlet.” I give him a group of activities to interact with for an hour of play time let him take the reins.  I usually clear out an area in our play room and set up a few little “stations,” which will include one area for lego-building from a set (like a Star Wars jet fighter), then a second station with an interactive game, maybe something on an Ipad, or sometimes I use a bean-bag toss station and have him record his best score in three trials.  The last station will be something completely free form, and most often coloring on a blank page with crayons.

     After he completes the gauntlet, we sit down and have a snack and I just listen. I encourage him to talk about what he was doing, thinking, what he liked most, etc.  He is always so happy after, and will show me his drawings while explaining them in detail. It’s a fun way to keep him occupied and also to open up his mind in different ways.  Please try out your own “gauntlets” and tell me how it goes.  If anyone else has a good parenting techniques, or any parenting tips, I would love to hear them as well!

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