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"Have faith in your children."


It was a day like any other day.  Evelien and I were waking up around 08:00 AM after a good night of sleep, and I heard some voices in the background.   Cobe and Casper, our two sons of five and three, probably would be awake already.  Since we moved to Alicante and started homeschooling our children, the mornings were much more relaxed, I was thinking.  No rushing to get everyone dressed and get out of the house on time.  No queues at the school gate or nervous breakdowns to find a parking spot.  Our mornings are just relaxing.   When you can start the day at your own pace, everything seems so much easier.

Suddenly, my highly scientific thoughts were interrupted.   Cobe and Casper came into our room with joy and enthusiasm that only little children can have.  Their energy was contagious, and I immediately felt awake and ready to start a new day.  In a split second, Cobe caught my attention.  He looked at me with these big brown eyes, and without saying a word, I knew he had to tell me something important.  "Daddy," he screamed enthusiastically, "you have to come with me right now"!  

I could make a small guess about what he wanted to show me.  Yesterday I had observed him for a while while he was working on his new building project.  With only five years old, he considered himself a "constructor."  Frequently he would sneak out of the living room and get to the playing place, full of little cars and Lego.  Without even paying attention to the building guides that come with the Lego, he would lose himself in his creativity.  He would do the construction work on his terms.  

Observing his enthusiasm, gesturing wildly with his arms, I could conclude that his latest construction work was a state-of-the-art project.  I stepped out of bed and followed him to the playing place.  Proudly Cobe showed me his creation.  Digging deep in his design capabilities and creativity, he had built one of the most beautiful buildings I had ever seen.   A  helicopter landing spot on the top roof.  A big blue "YouTube-signal-capturing device" (I still do not know what it does exactly, but the way he pronounced it, I assumed it was one of the latest technology innovations available in the market).  And a car parking spot on the ground floor, of which most architects can only dream.  All of this created by a five-year-old with more self-confidence than a professional golf player doing a hole-in-one.

That made me realize that our children are full of potential and that we - as parents -should avoid standing in their way.  We should create the right environment for them, so they can thrive and take a step back.  Children believe strongly in themselves; they are born with this indelible flame of enthusiasm, energy, and self-worth.  Watch how they learn, fail, and improve, and have faith in them.  By now, it was 08:15 AM, and in those fifteen minutes, I already had learned a fundamental lesson.  It would be another great day, surrounded by my children.

Bart

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