As a henna artist and owner of a henna business, I spend a lot of time with families. I love attending children’s birthday parties and letting the kids go through my art books to choose a henna design from the huge list of cartoon characters and pop culture logos I have on hand, or listening to their customized requested that they’ve dreamed up in their minds. 

Children are an inspiration! They have very little idea of what is socially acceptable and when to be embarrassed or ashamed that they should be a fan of something – because the truth is that they should not be ashamed! So I gladly draw up Pokémon and Harry Potter and randomized combinations of designs and I revel in my tiny clients’ delight.

I came across this beautiful post on Raised Good: Parenting by Nature called Our Children’s Busyness is Not a Badge of Honour (And Why We Need to Change It) that talks about how we are limiting the upcoming generation by filling their every moment with organized activity. It talks about how a constant schedule that leaves no room for children to entertain themselves poses a risk for stunted creativity and – at worst – an adolescent and adult life that focuses on material wealth and popularity rather than simple joy. Kids these days – am I right? This resonated with me because I can see a decided hesitation in creativity from the children I work with, and in my own children’s generation.

In drawing attention to organized activity, I don’t just mean hockey practice and ballet classes and piano lessons. I also refer to those times when we as parents entertain our children. When our kids tell us they’re  Im Bored FBbored, at least some of the time we should vaguely remind them of all of the toys and art supplies they have to play with and let them come up with something. This promotes constructive problem solving, and self-expression. Very useful things in adulthood. It’s also fun!

It’s difficult to not schedule every moment of your child’s waking hours when both parents work, you’ve got multiple children involved in a variety of activities, you have family birthday parties on the calendar, and you’d like to get out for date night at least once a year. Even more difficult if your children enjoy being busy! Try it out the next time you and the kids have an hour or so of downtime. Instead of suggesting family movie night or a trip to get ice cream, why not pick up your book and read, and just let your children decide what their next move is. And talk to your children about their schedule. How do they feel? Do they like what they do, or is there an activity they would like to stop participating with? Perhaps there is something new they would like to try. Or maybe they just want the opportunity to accept or extend a spontaneous play date invitation on a Friday afternoon.

What was your childhood like? There are great benefits to organized activity, but was your schedule full? Did you love sitting down with your paints and just making a mess, or going to the park and racing around with everyone there? I bet you did; I know I did. And let’s face it: we could all use a little less busy to charge our creativity!

Contact Henna4You to provide customized creative entertainment at your next event! Our artists will come to your birthday party, bridal shower, community festival, or corporate event to provide your guests with a unique party favour that they will remember for a lifetime. Call to book at (519) 741 7007.