100% a parenting tool. And I’ll tell you why, but first let me contextualize the origin of this conviction. This is not easy for me to write out, but as a child, I had a very difficult home life.
I lost my mom at the age of 7 to breast cancer & following that I didn’t have a secure and good relationship with my parents. That led to a lot of self-doubt and lack of self esteem in my growing years. Which I did a great job of hiding from my peers because I was still a success story to the outside world. I was a bright kid, great at academics, the head girl of my school. But no one knew the ruins that lay behind this facade.
This is not a story of my childhood, but I want to reference this because I want to talk about how helpful it can be for a child to be surrounded by what saved my own sanity in those years- motivation & inspiration. I couldn’t find the good in my present, so I longed to know what CAN be, what IS possible. One of the ways in which I coped was writing poetry & collecting motivating quotes.
There was no Instagram nor Facebook in the early nineties. What I had was a diary, a pen and books that I would data mine quotes from. Still to this day, on my lowest days, a good phrase of wisdom from someone can pick me up. The quotes helped me a ton. They made me feel like if I worked on myself, I could change my situation, I could be someone who was loved. And if that wasn’t going to happen, at the very least it would set my frame of mind to tackle the day ahead.
Parents, no matter what, it will always be hard to see our children struggle.
But whether they’re trying to take their first step learning to walk or much later trying to deal with their inner worlds, challenges are a good thing.
They teach our kids an essential life skill- problem solving. My case was an extreme one, but kids from the most loving families too face some common pressures that didn’t even exist in my growing years. The big SM- Social Media. Then there are the peers. Then they have their own internal monologue of who they think they are.
But these are the growing pains of human life that don’t really end with teenage, they kind of only shift gears. So as parents, what our kids go through with us, is a dry run of life ahead. The good part is these challenges come in a controlled environment.
While you’re still there to pick up the pieces with them. When you can still physically offer them a shoulder or hug. When you can still build their self esteem and assurance. This life coaching starts way before the time they need it though.
Active Parenting and Environment Parenting
We are a product of our environment on so many levels. Just one of them is absorbing the sights and sounds of what is around us.
Seeing motivating words in beautiful typography everyday multiple times a day has a kind of subliminal effect on the mind of the child growing up. I still remember the old-school motivational posters that were hung in my father’s office or my bedroom and I still to this day feel inspired when I simply think of it.
As parents, we can only talk so much, be there so much, hand out advice so much. Yes, kids learn the values we drill into them since childhood but they also absorb the unsaid, the unpronounced, the visuals and experiences of day to day life.
The former is when we’re the parent, the latter is when the environment parents. And we have a choice to consciously build that environment for them. To hand them the toys, tools and books that teach and imprint on their minds what you’ve already told them in your voice, words and actions. To build their physical environment to be aspirational, beautiful and reflective of their personalities.
What Their Eyes See, Their Minds Learn.
It is not possible for parents to physically, emotionally and mentally be there for children every time they suffer a heartache.
Because we're unlikely even to be privy to it every time. When children are younger it’s easy for them to just cry and be upset. But as they grow older, they’re taught to not let out their emotions by crying- mostly because it’s distressing for the parents themselves- and also because of societal dictates.
And as their problems get layered by their own personalities and others it becomes even more difficult for them to express their pain and anguish. This is when environment parenting when done right can kick into high gear. It’s what they have access to, to visually and cognitively stimulate their minds that will really help out in these situations.
Visual environment refers to how their spaces are designed. And cognitive environments are their books, tools and toys.
Make your children’s walls speak for you!
Make their visual fields come alive with motivating artwork! Surround them with moving words & phrases in beautiful typography.
If they’re young- from toddler to kindergarten, get them value based quotes. Words like Love, Kind, Play, Grow.
From grades 1- 4 is a great time to introduce the concept of building out their identity. Phrases like “I love Me” & quotes from Dr.Seuss books are perfect!
Grades 5-8 is time to re-inforce their ability to solve their problems on their own. Motivating quotes like “I can do hard things” can be really inspiring to a kid who maybe has a fixed mindset vs. a growth mindset.
At the end of the day, you know your child and their challenges the best. Maybe there’s a special situation that they’re going through. Maybe your daughter is the tallest in her class and that makes her feel super awkward. Address that in a quote on her wall- contact us and we’ll figure out the best quotes and lay it out in beautiful typography just for them.
Having come from a difficult childhood myself, I know that there are children who are in far more challenging and sometimes endangered situations.
The well being of children tugs at my heart like nothing else does. They’re the most vulnerable little beings at the mercy of us adults and our own baggages as we parent them. Here are a few scenarios in which motivating & inspiring wall art could really make a difference to the emotional well being of kids at risk.
- Kids with disabilities
- Kids feeling the anxiety of the COVID situation
- Children in different family set ups. Foster kids might initially more easily take these subliminal cues
from inanimate objects and words vs. their foster parents. Same for step or blended family kids.
- Children (not your own) you sense can do with a little attention & encouragement from you.
- This is a very hard one- but children facing grave or terminal illnesses would also benefit from being surrounded by words that comfort or drive a smile to their beautiful faces.
In closing, I’d just like to point out- these are just my opinions and analysis stemming from my own experiences as a child and now as a parent to my sweet 10 year old daughter. Backed with my knowledge and skill in the design world, I love bringing these two passions of mine together to bring beauty and peace to kids & parents.
But there will always be days in which no matter what- it will seem like you just can’t get through to your child. On those days I want you to know that you’ve done your best and instilled in your child the will and ability to deal with life’s ups and downs. Just be there for them and it will all be okay soon enough. That this too shall pass.
Browse our collection of kids wall art here.
Welcome to ChildBeWild.com, where we design beautiful, meaningful decor for babies & kids. Our blog here is a design playground where I explore concepts and ideas around building spaces for our young ones! I'm also Mama to a sprightly 10 year old who is the inspiration behind everything you see on ChildBeWild.