I am so happy to bring to you a story written by Emma Lawson. Emma approached me a couple of weeks ago and asked if she could be a guest on my site. We share the same passions for our children, family and parenting and I couldn’t be more delighted than to introduce her to you.
So, without further delay, here is Emma’s story. I know she’s excited about it and we hope you will enjoy it as much as she did in writing it and with me posting it.
Let your Kids Lead the Life Adventure
Most people go through life without ever living to the fullest and without experiencing the thrill of adventure. Some do experience it once or twice a year when they get those two weeks off, but people who live their whole lives as an adventure are rare and they usually go to extremes. It is probably a subconscious reaction to never experiencing freedom and excitement from early childhood. I believe these two extremes can be balanced if kids are brought up with the sense of adventure from the beginning. Here is my personal story.
One of the things I am most grateful about is the way I was brought up. My parents both had many siblings, but I was their only child and they gave me all the attention they didn’t get as kids. I had the most playful parents. They let me experience things for myself instead of telling me what was right for me. For example, we had a baby goat once and I insisted on having it sleep in with me in my bed. They let me do it until I figured you can’t sleep with a goat for more than a few nights in a row. There were no restrictions to experience, only an open space for learning which allowed us to get along well.
Another important thing for me was that they never tried to entertain me. I was given the whole world as my playground and I was supposed to come up with my own play, and that really taught me how to be self-sufficient and not rely on anyone else when trying to have fun. I learned how to work to create space for fun. There was a lake in my hometown with a public beach where everyone went in the summer – except us. We went through the forest to the other side of the lake which was wild and without easy access to the water. We camped and I was given a small fishing boat and a paddle, I was shown once how to row and I was rowing alone soon after. I was around seven.
They taught me adventure should be useful instead of destructive. My father had a cottage out in the nature, and he would usually be busy with his orchard, making lunch and repairing stuff. Since I was usually bored, he would give me a hatchet and send me out on a quest for firewood and dry branches. He taught me how to cut shrubs and make paths in the forest so that’s what I did, all alone and completely confident in my abilities. That taught me how to be independent and feel capable of overcoming any challenges that might arise. I believe my father was actually spontaneously doing what the wonderful Montessori method teaches nowadays; he should have been one of those teachers.
The most valuable thing I received from my father is the experience of the joy of freedom. He had made me a little custom parachute once, and I would strap it around my shoulders and run down a steep hill. Sometimes the wind would lift me up and I’d fly for a short while. He was teaching me how to fly alone. Later, when I grew up, I travelled the world completely alone without any fear, making my dreams come true, because I knew I was the little girl with a hatchet who could handle rapid waters and I had experienced my own pair of wings.
Emma is a teacher, constantly improving her skills both as a teacher and as a parent. She is passionate about writing and learning new things that can help you to lead a quality life. She is a regular contributor to High Style Life. You can follow her on Twitter @EmmahLawson.
If you like this, here are more links to some of her other published articles:
What a wonderful childhood that started Emma off to feeling confident and strong. A few hints of those adventures and I can only imagine how she could fill the pages with wonder and wildness of what nature felt like as a child. I wonder if she was ever scared or how did she learn to do things when they were hard?
Oh my, the stories she could tell. Thank you, Emma, for sharing with us you, as a little girl, with a pair of amazingly loving parents. I can dream and only imagine what it was like. No doubt you are passing along the same wisdom to your sons. There is so much to be learned in giving our children the freedom to learn on their own while keeping them safe and allowing them to make their own choices.
Can you remember the innocence and sense of adventure of your childhood? Just as it was for Emma, I hope it was full of joy, launching you into the rest of your life.
Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table