“I can’t think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a parent’s protection.” Sigmund Freud
The crafts teacher had asked us to make puppets for a play at the high school. I got home, got newspaper, flour, a jug of water, colored paint, scissors, a ruler, and some tools.
I was barely thirteen years old, but my imagination was filled with characters and worlds created by Tolstoi, Verne, Lovecraft, Tolkien, CS Lewis, Poe, Quiroga, Serafín J. García, and Morosoli, so my plan was to create the most fantastic of the whole class. My fingers began to move from side to side, shaping the imagined in the inert mass of papier-mâché. When I had managed to make something similar to a face appear in the middle of nowhere and that soft and moldable was left to design as I pleased, a part broke and exploded in front of me, crumbling into sticky strips accompanied by my frustration and discontent.
Just the first tears began to dampen what little dignity the character had left and before the cracks also marked my own heart, the kitchen door was gently opened. It was my father.
He didn’t say anything, he took a mate as a mold, he improved the papier-mâché mixture and little by little he taught me how to shape it, at the same time he told me about his creations in different settings. I did not know those experiences of my father, for me, he had been a great dentist all his life, so that afternoon I discovered the genetic origin of my passion for theater.
It is not enough to say that that puppet was a success and the most loved character in the class. On the other hand, I had discovered a new side of my father. She had lived with him for thirteen years and she had no idea that he was capable of drawing such beauty out of glue-moistened pieces of paper. He put passion in the character’s gaze, he made his lips awaken, he allowed that doll to dance in his hands and, above all, he managed to make laughter emerge from my tears. At night, in the solitude of my dark room, I realized that I too had been one of my father’s creations, with the difference that I was free to choose and project my life scenes, thanks to his teachings. .
I understood then, that the work of a father is somehow similar to the work of a craftsman. How to be then, parents creators of happiness? Here I share some thoughts about it.
1. Create spaces of freedom
It allows children to learn to make their own decisions. For example, if your child decides to wear the blue nylon jacket for a walk and complains halfway through that the denim one was better, your task is to help him make his free choice and take charge of it, not go back to look the one he wants now.
2. Shape environments with rules and regulations
The rules help so that your children can feel safe and develop without problems. Phrases such as: “The plugs are not touched”, “Before eating we wash our hands”, “No harm to friends”, help to draw limits. In this way, children have the assurance that parents are in charge of the situation and have everything under control. Uncertainty derives from the lack of limits and creates an environment that can destabilize them emotionally.
3. Build the foundations of responsibility
As children grow, teach them to be responsible for their own actions, choices, and consequences. For example, if as a result of a tantrum, your child decides to throw a toy on the ground and as a result it breaks, he will learn that he will not be able to play as before, since the toy will not work. However, if you don’t correct it, rest assured that every time it gets frustrated, it will end up damaging something or someone. Help him to reflect on what he did and how to handle his anger, this will help him not to be a victim of his emotions.
A good father is capable of becoming the best opportunity his children have to learn to be happy. You have the knack to shape their lives with wisdom and love.