“If we were to allow the wonder of the life of a child to reach us fully and truly and to be our teacher, we would have to say: Thank you, child of man…for reminding me about the joy and excitement of being human. Thank you for letting me grow together with you, that I can learn again of what I have forgotten about simplicity, intensity, totality, wonder and love and learn to respect my own life in its uniqueness. Thank you for allowing me to learn from your tears about the pain of growing up and the sufferings of the world. Thank you for showing me that to love another person and to be with people, big or small, is the most natural of gifts that grows like a flower when we live in the wonder of life. (p. 10)” ― Garry L. Landreth, Play Therapy: The Art of the Relationship
The above is one of my favourite quotes from this book.
As a creative counsellor who uses play and creativity in my sessions and as a parent I have found much of what is contained in this book enlightening. Much of it also clashes with our other roles as parents. It is impossible to allow the child to lead much of the time but it is possible to have 'treasure time' with our children. I did this when my children were younger by scheduling in a particular hour on a particular day of the week for each of my children (individually) so that we could spend time being creative but with the child leading the way. My work as a counsellor is child-led as much as it is safe to do so, obviously there are boundaries that need to be in place so that no-one gets hurt but minimum rules and maximum play is a good recipe for getting alongside children in whatever capacity your interactions with them are.
I am always humbled by the wisdom of children!