So Your Child Wants to be an Artist? Relax, Don’t Worry

You want your child to lead a happy and successful life. How you interpret success and happiness may vary widely, however. How your child interprets these words and the feelings represented by them may vary even more.art

For many families, success is defined in terms of financial success, but even financial success can mean a lot of different things as well.

What parent wants to see their child struggle to pay the rent or put food on the table?

It may not be that your vision of financial success means your child having a six-figure income, but it probably includes them living on their own without needing regular influxes of cash from Mom and Dad in order to survive.

So what happens if your child comes to you and tells you that they want to be an artist? What thoughts begin racing through your head?

Are you excited glad that they have something they’re passionate about, knowing that their talent will carry them? Or are you concerned that they’ll be living in a hovel and face daily struggles for safety and survival?

For hundreds of years, parents have had to face the idea of their children pursuing the arts. Despite the risks, parental protests, and even the threat of being financially cut off, many of these children still choose to follow their hearts.

Some artists have a passion for the arts, but aren’t able to pursue their dreams until later in life. Other children are determined to follow their dreams earlier, with or without parental support or approval. Parents may disapprove entirely of a career in the arts or may only approve if their child fits within a specific mold.

Paul Gauguin followed several careers in order to first please his family and then his wife’s family. He had to return to painting full-time several times in his life. It was in his nature and part of his core being that had to be expressed despite the challenges that it created.

Painter Édouard Manet’s father was adamantly opposed to his son having a career in art to the point where Manet left for Paris to pursue his dream while still in his teens.

Singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson’s parents disowned him when he turned down a position to teach literature at West Point in order to devote himself to songwriting.

Katy Perry fashioned her musical career even though it still isn’t in harmony with her parents’ religious careers as evangelical Christian pastors and musician Miles Davis wasn’t met with approval of his choice in career. It was just that his mother thought he ought to play a stringed instrument rather than the trumpet. His father hoped he would become a dentist.

Fortunately, all of these artists persevered and have created art that’s influenced countless others and these are only a few examples.

Will your child struggle and suffer? Will their career soar or flounder? Is it a good idea for them to have a Plan B in case their art career fails? Or would it be smart for them to take another job and pursue music in their free time? Would a job in the field or something related to their field be as fulfilling and safer?

You can’t know what the absolute best path for anyone else is even if that other person is your own child. What you can do is tap into your Internal Guidance System (IGS) and encourage your child to tap into theirs as well in order to help discover their best path.

Whether your child will becomes rich and famous in their lifetime is uncertain. Are the odds in their favor? Maybe not. If you worry about it, it probably won’t make one bit of difference. And if you encourage your child to abandon their dreams in exchange for financial security, they may never find the one thing you want them to find in life: happiness.

If you can leave your personal preferences aside and let joy be your guide, then you’ll find the right path. Passing this ideal onto your prospective artist is the best thing you can do for them.

For more, please visit www.SharonBallantine.com.

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When You Don’t Like Your Child’s Friends

Let’s face facts: sometimes you just don’t like some of your child’s friends. You’re only human after all and there are going to be people you just don’t resonate with well.

While that’s definitely okay, it can be challenging when your son or daughter’s BFF grates on your nerves. Chances are, you can handle an irritating friend even if you don’t understand the chemistry. You may not particularly enjoy having them around, but you love your children, so you try to be patient and deal.hold onto the jumprope

Sometimes it isn’t that the friend in question is irritating. They may just be so different that you’re uncomfortable.

As much as you like to think that you’re open-minded and accepting, there may be cases where someone’s so different from your experience that it’s a challenge for you to warm up to them.

These differences may be cultural, religious, or social. Depending on your background, it may be a challenge to accept or figure out how to communicate with a person from a different country or culture. It may feel like you don’t like this person because you don’t understand them or you have a fear that they might pull your child away from you and your own comfort zone

But what if it’s more than a personality issue? What if you’re concerned that a new friend is a bad influence on your child or even dangerous? Do you leave it alone or do you interfere?

Unless your child’s life is in immediate danger because of a friendship, it might be a good idea to take a little time before taking any action. As hard as it is to accept that your studious daughter who’s never gotten into trouble in her life has fallen for the bad boy in town, you sometimes have to accept that opposites attract.

Forbidding relationships, whether they’re friendships or romances, rarely work out the way you hope they do. More often than not, your fight against the union strengthens their resolve to be together rather than draw them apart. Instead of fighting it, you might want to step back and consider whether or not you’re making an honest, objective assessment of the troublesome person. Or could it be that there’s something else going on that’s influencing your feelings?

For example, if the new friend reminds you of someone from your past that history could unfavorably color your views. If the person from your past was a bad apple you may project that onto your child’s friend, no matter how wonderful the friend truly is.

That’s not to say that your instincts are incorrect. It could be that you’re picking up on subtle (or not so subtle) clues that are setting off alarm bells.

One of the best ways to know if your reaction to this person is accurate or if you’re projecting things from your past is to check in with your Internal Guidance System (IGS). As challenging as the relationship may be, your IGS will help you to see it for what it is, including how it may be a benefit to your son or daughter. You may find that by tapping into your IGS, you clearly see the person behind the different clothes, long hair, or foreign appearance, and see what your child sees — a wonderful human being.

As much as opposites do attract, it’s also true that people generally gravitate towards others with whom they have something in common. While it may seem like two incompatible statements on the surface, it really means that you can find important things in common with someone who seems quite different in other ways.

Your child deserves your trust in choosing their friends. They may befriend people you don’t care for. And as much as you’d prefer to love each and every one of their friends, it’s actually healthy for them to have a wide variety of people in their life.

It speaks highly of your child when they can see beyond the things that separate people and see the uniqueness in others even if they do pick their bad apples now and then. As hard as it may be for you to step back and watch that happen, it’s about their life and their unique path. In the end, they may learn some of their most important life lessons from the very people you wanted to keep them from.

For more, please visit www.SharonBallantine.com.

Coaching and Mentoring Our Children to Use Their Internal Guidance System

Children are very aware of their feelings. They may not know how to articulate what they are feeling to us, but they definitely know how they feel. Being aware of how they feel is an important part of learning to use their Internal Guidance System (IGS), which will help them to live their highest path as children and as adults.

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If we can teach our children at a very early age how to listen to their IGS, then they will learn to trust that inner wisdom and be the independent teens and adults that we wish them to be.

When children are very young, most haven’t learned to hide their feelings yet.

While there are times that, in the moment, this may not seem like a good thing, being aware of their feelings and learning to trust in them is a key to their future happiness.

Conventional wisdom has us teach our children to conform. This starts up a contradiction inside them.

They feel one way, but are told to behave in another way. When this happens often enough, they begin to doubt their feelings.

We want to encourage our children to trust their feelings so they can then use their Internal Guidance System as a tool throughout their lives. We can help our children develop their IGS “muscle” by reminding them to check in with their feelings.

When they are faced with a decision and they do not know which choice to make, ask them to consider how they are feeling with both options. Does this choice make them feel happy or sad? Do they feel lighter at the idea of it or heavier?

Of course, the words you use will vary depending on the age of your children and their vocabulary level. You can even use a chart that has pictures of different facial expressions to help them indicate if they feel good about a particular choice or not.

You can also help your children to determine how to proceed by exploring ideas that come about from the initial choice. You help them navigate the stream of emotions, always steering them towards the ones that most excite them, just as you would paddle a canoe with the river’s current rather than paddling upstream.

By coaching and mentoring them early to navigate using their Internal Guidance System when they encounter other people who would steer them wrong, they have already grown confident in their IGS and ability to make their own decisions for their lives.

Our children will not always make choices that we agree with, or even approve of, but by allowing them the room to make mistakes, we are helping them to fine-tune their IGS. Of course we will do everything we can to keep our children safe, but beyond that we are here to guide, support, and believe in their abilities. 

We are not here to dictate what path they are on. We are all blessed with knowing our best and highest path and by teaching our children to trust in their Internal Guidance System, we will have the joy of watching them grow and follow the path that is right for them.

How the Law of Attraction May Affect Your Children’s Academic Standing

Parents wish to see their children succeed in all aspects of their lives. The Law of Attraction teaches that strong focus, determination, and a sunny outlook may help you to succeed, but it can be hard to decipher what kind of effect the Law of Attraction might have on your children. Image

How do you find out? Communication is always necessary, but you can see a positive influence just by examining how well they flourish in school. A few areas to take note of are:

Better Grades

By focusing on doing well in their studies, children will receive better grades. You have taught them to visualize what they want from life and how to focus and manifest it for themselves.

So long as you have also taught them the importance of good grades, they will be able to apply the Law of Attraction towards their schooling.

Better grades will give your child confidence. Knowing that you have given them good counsel will also give you a sense of pride or joy over their accomplishment. 

Stronger Friendships

Applying the Law of Attraction to the school environment may help your children to develop stronger friendships. You know that as an adult, this law has helped you to develop a variety of strong relationships.

Friendships are the only major relationships outside the family that your children develop at a young age. These friendships can help your child feel accepted and loved. It will also let them know that they are not alone amongst their peers.

Less Stress

School is stressful. If you think back to your own school days, you will realize that this is the truth. There is much to be learned. Between getting an education, gaining independence, and learning how to interact with others, the stress can really build up.

The Law of Attraction can be used to easily lower a child’s stress level. Think about it. Receiving better grades lowers the stress concerning education. Developing stronger friendships lowers the stress that learning how to interact may bring. Less stress creates happier children.

If your children are taught to think and remain positive throughout their time in school, you will see the Law of Attraction at work. Coaching and mentoring children on how to make use of the Law of Attraction are key to raising healthy, happy children. Parents who wish to see how this law is working in their children’s lives need only look to their schooling for a strong example.

Parenting: The Universal Law of Attraction and Self-Esteem

One of the ways you can use the Universal Law of Attraction when you parent is by building your child’s self-esteem. The Universal Law of Attraction states that what you think and believe creates your reality.  This core belief is vital in developing your child’s healthy self-esteem.Image

Developing your own strong sense of high self-esteem is important, too, because parents are the natural mirror through which children experience their own worth. How you act toward your child has a great impact on their own self-esteem.

Take time every day to be grateful for your children.  Support them to develop into the wonderful human beings you want them to be by speaking supportive words. Praise is powerful! When your child tries his or her best to do something, praise their effort, regardless of how well they do it.  If it something the child really wants to do, encourage them to keep at it, and to follow their dreams.

Make time to integrate discussion about the power of thoughts and dreams, too. It is important that your children learn early on that our thoughts are important. Then, help them to understand that our ability to choose the direction of our thoughts is of great value. We can choose to think positively or we can choose to have negative thoughts. What we choose to focus on and believe will determine what we experience.

An exercise you can do with your children is to have them write out several negative statements and then have them rephrase what they have written as positive statements. If they have trouble doing this, provide some helpful hints.

Print out the following mantra or create your own and hang it in a very visible spot where the family spends time, or place several copies around the house where children can read the statement and reflect on it:

Thoughts are the beginning of all things. I have the power to choose my thoughts. I will choose to focus on positive thoughts.

Ask your children to write down three things they love about themselves. Write down three things you love about your children and compare lists. Celebrate those things and encourage their positive traits.

Treat your children with respect and always love them unconditionally.  Positive actions will help to shape and support their emerging self-confidence.  By helping them understand their own power and supporting them in the things they want to do, we help them to develop a strong sense of self-esteem.