The Art of Parenting
The celebrated American humorist P.J. O’Rourke famously once said, “Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them.” We believe there is an element of truth hidden within the humor, as the skills needed to raise healthy, independent children are not innate. But we also believe that parents can acquire effective parenting methods, which will not only make them more capable and confident, but will also help them guide their children towards their own destiny in life and develop the capacities to succeed at their own life’s mission.
Every Child is a Seed of Wonder
In our view, children are like seeds that contain within them the fundamental and immutable essence of what they are destined to become. We believe the most important gift a parent can give their child is a nurturing environment in which they can grow and self-educate, thereby gradually discovering their purpose in life. These ideas are intrinsic to the philosophy that underpins Waldorf education, and they go to the very heart of our Art of Parenting program.
But it is not just philosophers, child development experts and educationalists who recognize that children are born with the kernel of their future selves inside them. The concept was also beautifully articulated in the first Kung Fu Panda movie by the wise old turtle, Oogway.
My friend, the Panda will never fulfill his destiny, nor you yours, until you let go of the illusion of control.
Yes. Look at this tree, Shifu. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me, nor make it bear fruit before its time.
But there are things we can control. I can control when the fruit will fall! I can control where to plant the seed! That is no illusion, Master!
Ah, yes. But no matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.
But a peach cannot defeat Tai Lung!
Maybe it can, if you are willing to guide it, to nurture it, to believe in it.
Why The “Art” of Parenting
Meeting an unmet need
Yanhong created the Art of Parenting program based on her many years’ experience counseling parents and working with children, as well as her own continuous studies in the field of education. She saw an urgent need for a practical program that would motivate and empower parents rather than discourage and intimidate them by telling them what was wrong with their parenting approach or promising to provide them with cookie-cutter solutions to “fix” whatever “problem” their child manifested. The Art of Parenting program helps parents find within themselves the skills they need to become more effective and creative parents.
Helping children become full human beings
Starting from the belief that confident, inspired parents are best placed to raise confident, independent and healthy children, Yanhong understood that the key to mutually nourishing parent-child relationships was to help parents discover their own innate creative abilities and develop effective communication techniques so they could better engage with their children and others. With these capacities, parents could then use the Art of Parenting “toolbox”, which includes art, drama, music, storytelling, games and communication techniques to transform their family lives and their relationships with their children.
Providing practical tools
Combining her experience as a pioneer in Waldorf education in China, a licensed Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) Instructor and Teacher Effectiveness Training (T.E.T.) Instructor, a certified La Leche League leader, and an award-winning author of numerous books on child development, Yanhong designed the Art of Parenting program to not only enrich the lives of families through creative activities, but also to help children find their unique identity, establish their own moral compass and become healthy, independent, and free human beings. The course has been running in China for several years and will soon be coming to the US!
How The Art of Parenting Works
The Art of Parenting starts from the widely accepted psychological premise that the only way to change any given situation is for a person to change themselves rather than attempt to change others. For parents we believe this means finding the inspiration and skills they need to communicate their unconditional love for their child through creative and artistic activities, rather than focusing on how to “fix” whatever challenge their child supposedly presents them at a particular point in time.
The Art of Parenting is a diagnostic, educational and therapeutic process that focuses on creating a better shared future rather than attempting to fix the past. It provides an antidote to the sensory, emotional and intellectual overload caused by the rampant over usage of electronic media in modern society and the alienation this can cause within families. Most importantly, the Art of Parenting aims to motivate parents by helping them unlock a wide range of artistic and creative capacities which they can incorporate into their family lives.
Xiao Wu helped me discover that I could paint, play games, create my own stories and perform my own dramas and plays. In a few short days she made me feel like there was nothing I couldn’t do if I put my mind to it! Of course, I loved her so much I couldn’t help…
After returning home from attending Xiao Wu’s “Art of Parenting” course I gradually woke up and saw the path that lay beyond the door she had opened for me. I discovered that my child spoke and behaved in certain ways in response to things that I said or did. I realized that when my child…
The five-day “Art of Parenting” course brought us closely together with Xiao Wu; we sang songs together, danced, painted, played games, created our own stories and dramas, we practiced our Parent Effectiveness Training skills using real-life scenarios. Throughout this course we all felt deeply understood and accepted in a way that we had never before…
For at least half of the ten classes in the “Art of Parenting” course that I attended we were “playing”. We sang songs, danced, painted, played children’s games, and created and told stories. These fun-filled activities carried us back to our innocent childhood pasts. And, just like children, we laughed, we sang and we danced…
Xiao Wu’s “Art of Parenting” course was a real wake-up call for me. It was the first time I realized that even having just one genuine “active listening” session could bring real happiness and pleasure to both parent and child; It was the first time I truly understood that delivering a proper “I” message contained…
Currently the Art of Parenting program is only available in China. However, we are in the process of customizing the program for the US and will be launching it here soon. Stay tuned for more details!
Feel free to contact us here!