Over many years I’ve learned rich lessons about the great art of being a parent and teacher which are inseparable roles. These years found us living from Boston to San Francisco, working with children of all ages and raising three of our own. One great theme stands out which perhaps parents everywhere know – each child is a work of art which we learn to appreciate as we trust our own abilities and train ourselves where needed. Children come one of a kind and deserve the best handling and care that we’d give to a priceless painting. After all, children are the most valuable investment in the future. The training and inspiration start with the artist before seen in the artwork. Like Michelangelo chipping away at the marble to find the sculpture within, we often need to chip away the self-doubts, limitations, and labels on ourselves and children. Parents have the precious responsibility of developing the whole child, a happy and loved one, who will eventually be ready to give back to society. This complete picture doesn’t happen easily or overnight, but is the result of adding to the “canvas” day by day.
This parent-teacher BLOG is a collection of articles that were published as a syndicated newspaper column while raising our children. When the editors at The Christian Science Monitor asked me to write the Parent/Child column, my reaction was “Who me?” My teaching career in the fine school systems of Lexington and Newton, Massachusetts, and as the director of a nursery school, had given me grist for the parenthood mill. Yet, I knew there are challenges of a new nature with raising your own children. Along with the academics come the social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and character development – an awesome task. What I found while writing the column was a nation-wide parent network with similar concerns and challenges and the resources to meet them. The articles are not a prescription, but a description of lessons, insights, and activities from our family and many other families, authors, administrators, and teachers. It is designed so parents and teachers may add their own notes and ideas. Let’s make EVERY parent/teacher relationship with a child a truly unique masterpiece!
Marian R. Carlson
Photo by M. Carlson, Sculptor Nancy Schon
A few slight changes have been made to these articles since they originally appeared in The Christian Science Monitor