It wasn’t exactly intentional, but over time, I noticed my use of certain words to describe concepts with the children. It’s interesting to see how the repetitive use of these words/concepts have come full circle and now the kids encourage me with the same.
I say things like:
“use your imagination”
“find something creative to do”
“you made a discovery”
“go on an adventure”
“choose to be happy”
“let’s hope for something”
Definition: form a mental image of something that is not present or that is not the case
Imagination is wonderful thing! And children do it so well! I believe imagination is the step before creation. It’s the ability to think outside the box and has enormous potential as a problem solving tool. I often find myself affirming this sort of behaviour in my children, and rather than saying, “That’s good,” I say, “WOW, you’re using your imagination!”
Definition: make or cause to be or to become
“Find something creative to do” is a phrase I use often. It may be when the kids have watched television for a while or if they are feeling bored. I guess what I’m trying to encourage is the ability for my children to create their own fun without the need for constant entertainment. There is usually always something fun to discover, no matter where you are.
Definition: a productive insight
Discoveries are everywhere. Many of the love the moment challenges have led to wonderful learning experiences for the children and I! Discovery for me is about being aware of what is around me and the attitude of constantly growing and learning. This is something I want to teach my children.
Definition: an exciting undertaking
My son often comes up to me and says, “I’m going on an adventure.” True: it may be hiding behind trees in the backyard, but the excitement is there! Our family loves adventure, and we use the word when we are doing something exciting, like 4Wheel Driving on the beach, hiking, visiting a theme park or even just taking a different road home. “Let’s go on an adventure today!” Bring. It. On.
There’s a lot of noise about happiness these days. I think happiness is less about doing what you want and more about choosing to be content with what you have. It’s the way you look at a situation. I also see happiness as a consequence, not a goal; a natural consequence of carving a life of value is that feeling of satisfaction. That is part of the reason why I have the “Pollyanna” in the ingredients of a Fun Mum. When my kids are all “poor me” I encourage them to make a choice to be happy. To be content, to look at things differently, to carve out a life of significance and satisfaction, even when things don’t turn out the way they expect.
Definition: to be optimistic, and the general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled
Hope. Having something to look forward to is a coping mechanism I often use. When I have a hard week ahead, or a weekend without my husband, I plan something special in the future so I can look forward to it. This works with the children too. Just this morning, my daughter had something hard to face at school. I gave her $2 to spend at the tuck-shop (a rarity for her). It wasn’t bribery, it was hope! I thought having something for her to look forward to would help her face the day with a little more hope.
Words. Words are wonderful! And I love how their meaning have become concepts for our family to enjoy.
- It thrills me when my children call me to look at their game: “Mum! Come look! We used our imagination!”
- I laugh when my children, in a forbearing tone say, “Yeah Mum, we know: Find something creative to do.” And then later I find an amazing construction craft out of packing tape and recycled boxes.
- I feel privileged to watch my children discover the wonder around them and they encourage me to do the same.
- I love how the children embrace adventure with open arms, and how having them with me makes me look for adventure in all sorts of places.
- I feel proud when my children make the decision to be happy, regardless of the situation.
- And hope. There’s always hope. And if it’s not obvious, I invent it; for me and for my kids.
I love these words, and what they mean to me:
Imagine . Create . Discover . Adventure . Happy . Hope
Oh, and I like the word brilliant too.