Tue | Jun 25, 2019

Children are like flowers - let them bloom

Published:Sunday | June 2, 2019 | 12:25 AMShaunette Jones-Wright - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Picture this: a garden with green, green, and only green. No fragrant blossoms, no colourful flowers, no bees or butterflies. Just green. Widen that picture to include the neighbour’s yard, the community, the country, and the world. What kind of world would this be? Very dull, and a really, really sad place.

And what would the world be without children? Equally dull and sad ... no laughter, no pranks, no imagination. A lot less happy, very mundane, and too quiet.

In Children are like Flowers, author Erika Heslop-Martin weaves a story through a four-member family comprising Lilly, Billy, Mom, and Dad, and along the journey, she explores ways in which children can be nurtured into well-rounded human beings.

QUALITY TIME

Life’s pleasures are found in the simplest of things and they make memories. Like a beautiful, well-cared-for garden, children are at their best when parents spend quality time with them. Lilly and Billy are playing in the garden on a Sunday afternoon, and Mom and Dad are very much present. They play happily, secure in the knowledge that their parents are overlooking them, near and available to answer their questions, to laugh at their silly games, and to just watch them.

Again, like flowers, children need time in the outdoors to get some Vitamin D and interact with and observe nature: the bees and butterflies, the green, grassy garden, the fluffy clouds in the sky, the many birds flitting from tree to tree, and the rainbow. Being cooped up inside, with their faces lit by the glow of tablets and computers, does not aid in a child’s holistic development.

Family time is another strong theme. Lilly and Billy enjoy the company of their parents. Quality time together can be spent reading or helping with homework, but the author is suggesting that time spent having fun is very essential. A trip to the beach, a games night, a family vacation, or, like Lilly and Billy’s family, a relaxing day at the park can build trust, allow each member to know more about each other and solidify family ties.

One major way of building a children’s self-esteem is by giving them lots of compliments and praises about anything and everything. If they make mistakes, do not be harsh, they are learning – they have to crawl before they can run. Telling them how much they are loved, how beautiful and precious they are can only make them more confident.

This book, written for children ages three to seven, uses vivid and colourful language, which allows the words to leap from the pages and stimulate the imagination. It is a simple read but has profound messages for adults.

Children are like Flowers is the fruit of a collaborative effort by a husband-and-wife team. The book is written by Erika Heslop Martin, who is also a poet, illustrated by Neil Martin, and is dedicated to their twins, Abraham and Abigail.

 

shaunette.wright@gleanerjm.com