I am not a free spirit. I revel in orderliness, list making, and organization of any kind. I like to follow a schedule and arrive places on time (or early). I have a child who also embodies these qualities.
However, I also have a child who is a free spirit. She lives and moves in the moment, taking any excuse to stop and smell the roses.
I am far from an expert in any aspect of parenting, but especially in this one. However, here are three tips I’m finding helpful as I rear a child so vastly different from myself.
1. Indulge her free spirit whenever possible. She asks to eat lunch outside to enjoy the newly-arrived fall weather. The brightly-colored clothes and sparkly shoes that she holds up for my approval in the department store are not what I would choose, but they reflect her personality. I set the dining room table the same way for every meal, but she wants to add candles and other special touches. There is nothing wrong with any of these things, so I can give her freedom in these areas.
2. Teach her to work within guidelines. For those times when I can’t indulge her free spirit, she must be taught to follow rules. We all must learn self-discipline, but it sometimes requires more patience and different methods of training for a free spirit. I am finding the need to stretch myself and pray for wisdom as I seek the best way to help her learn these lessons.
3. Enjoy her free spirit by letting her lead you into new experiences. She brings an abundance of joy to life; her humor is often quick and sometimes she makes us all laugh with her antics. I need to allow her to pull me out of my rut, to see the world through her eyes. Every day situations become celebrations if I remember to occasionally let her take the lead while I follow.
Do you have a free-spirited child or are you a free spirit yourself? If so, do you have any helpful tips for me?