The Flower – an action plan
Parent and child can do this together or Parent can do on their own.
Using the flower template, or copying it, use arts, crafts, pictures etc. to identify your child’s interests and enthusiasms.
Produce an action plan of how you can realistically invest time and creativity to support and provide opportunity for effective communication with your child/ren. Do not set goals that are unachievable due to guilt!
Middle of Flower
write down what the child enjoys or what they like to do in their spare time.
How parents can invest time with their children by joining in or being interested in their interest and making the most of time spent together. In each petal write an idea of how you can achieve this. For example if the child has written baking as an interest in each petal think of the times you have available to you such as bath times, 10 mins before bed or any short period of time during the day. The petals are about breaking down expectations into manageable, bitesize pieces. In one petal you could write to make an effort to talk about what they like to eat, make, favourite recipe book etc. for 15 mins. In another could be written to google recipes with the child and find one that is doable to make, 20 mins. In another you could write a list of the ingredients needed to bake (keep it simple!), in another find time to actually make it.
Actions for parents, what needs to change if anything? Such as being aware of your own expectations, being patient with your child and not expecting too much and if there is a time when it’s not working that’s ok, try again another time. Maybe writing to become aware of your own anxieties, such as the child making a mess in messy play, and learning not to project these onto your child. Maybe learning to accepting that being a ‘good enough’ parent is enough!
Breaking it down can really help when you’re trying to be interested in a subject that might hold no interest for you at all!
It’s amazing though what children will come out with when they are given a platform to share, they also really enjoy and get a boost from teaching you something new! Again the time limits really help to keep it real and manageable.