Monday, January 21, 2013

Incubator home

I love the teen years, as much as they can be fraught with passion and fury coming at you from all directions! This is a time when young people need and must have more independence, opportunities and choices.
At this point, some parents will want to ‘cut them loose’ while still making sure to ‘keep watching;’ that is, maintaining an eye on the kids as they move into teen-hood and young adulthood.

In my own home, the exploratory play, inventiveness and fun of their childhood has not disappeared. Instead it has become more focused, more sophisticated, more goal oriented. My daughters push for who they are trying to become; they want to shine. At any given time, you may find a daughter practicing her instrument, with acute attention to error and determination to improve. You may find a daughter stretched out on her bed, hungrily devouring every classic in the English language with a mind to studying English literature and becoming an author herself. You may find a daughter searching for opportunities in the community to get involved with more sports and athletics.  I’m not shocked if I wake up at odd hours of the early morning to find a daughter interacting on tumblr, rebogging posts and contributing to discussions that range from feminism, abortion, to the latest fashion in tights and leggings.
I’ll often ask my aspiring actor how many movies she has watched that day and won’t be surprised if it’s the sum of four as she studies the fine art of acting and film. She’s pushing; she’s in acting classes, she’s out there seeking opportunities and venues.

The home is where it all begins; the home is where they can nurture and grow their dreams.
My home is a passion and idea incubator where my kids can identify interests and have to the best of our abilities, offer the opportunity to explore and pursue their passions.
 I hope to continue to provide them a safe haven in which to forge new paths, anchored by the faith we, the parents have in them as they gain mastery over what they have sought to know. I am not promising that all their dreams will come true; often they do not. Sometimes they change shape.  But my home is dedicated to supporting them as they move forward into the world.
An incubator home like ours offers a practice arena in which the kids can explore and test their ideas.  Every day is an opportunity for evolving interests and ideas; we try to create an incubation environment that is flexible and responsive to each child’s development.  This means being ready to spot opportunities when they come up and helping them to act on these. It also means setting up the structure so that interests can be pursued, and experimentation can continue to happen.
How have you set up your home to nurture learning and exploration? Comments welcome.


Danae said...

Lovely, lovely post, rfs.

But, then, you are always a marvel.

Charli Armstrong said...

Wonderful. This is the kind of home I want to build for my kids.

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