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Who doesn't like free things (especially when it is encouraging)!? Last year, I created a mantra for each month. I want to keep the encouragement going with an inspirational word, quote, or phrase. You can download a version for your phone or desktop and you can also download the painting as a print!

I WILL DO THE GARDENING

How I view parenting greatly impacts my attitude towards my children. If I view my children as my “project”, I will wear myself out trying to make them into the prefect version I want them to be. If I view them as “mini-mes”, I will constantly be disappointed when they make a choice different than mine. I have really been connecting to the image of the gardener. This year is the first year I am attempting to grow vegetables. Gardening is hard work.  I have to pick weeds, make sure there is enough water and sunlight, make sure there isn’t too much water and sunlight, check for bugs, etc. It is incredible to come out each day and see that the plants are a little taller and I do a happy dance when I notice a tiny veggie! It has been challenging, exciting, exhausting, and rewarding all in one. I was reflecting on a quote by John Holt and wrote my own version, “We must see ourselves as gardeners. A gardener does not “grow” vegetables. A gardener nurtures, guides, and gives them what they need so they can grow on their own”. I am making it my goal to help my children “grow”. To give them the skills to problem solve when conflicts arise, to come up with new plans of action when mistakes happen, to encourage hard work and kindness, and to acknowledge all emotions so they can grow into their best selves.

This isn’t easy but I feel it is so important for my children to have autonomy and confidence that I trust them to “grow” without my constant interference. I created this print as a reminder of my role as a parent, “I will do the gardening and leave the growing to them”.

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