At Drawn To Discover, we’ve been thinking about thinking lately – especially as it relates to fostering creativity and problem-solving for children. We’ve seen firsthand the powerful and joyful experiences of children who successfully develop these skills. Our own experience teaching visual literacy combined with the research literature provide some valuable, and, most importantly, practical insights. There is a lot of noise out there in the interwebs and with this latest blog series we cut through it to provide clarity for parents and children.

Back to school is a time of excitement and anxiety for teachers, students, and parents alike. Back to school means a fresh start, new opportunities. It also means new challenges and fears. Back to school is also a time of loss, letting go of the past and moving into the future. For parents, we are watching them grow up so fast and we see our control and influence gradually fading. For children too there is a sense of loss. They are letting go of early behaviors, classmates, and sometimes even friends. These losses are a natural part of growing up and they provide space for renewal, rebirth, and creativity.

Self Discovery

Providing children with the proper tools and structure will help keep them on a positive journey of self-renewal and self-discovery. As parents and educators we can provide guidance, structure and balance:

  • Be nurturing, but not smothering.
  • Be protective, but not rescuing.
  • Provide boundaries, but not rigidity.


These balances are not easy and we will often waiver from one end of the spectrum to the other. But overall, if we provide a safe and loving environment, we know that we will help our children thrive. Thankfully, too, we do not have to blindly stumble on to the best ways to achieve such balance. We do not have to reinvent the wheel. Rather, there are proven strategies and techniques for helping children develop self-mastery physically, behaviorally, emotionally, and cognitively. As parents and educators, we can take these tools and resources and apply them in a way that works for us and our children.

In this blog series we will dive into a creative exploration of the research and provide practical tips for parents and educators. And, in the spirit of creativity, we will synthesize this exploration within the framework of Shaolin Kung Fu’s five lessons for self-mastery.

The path of self-mastery requires:
  1. A Courageous Heart: A courageous heart shows strength in the face of fear (tiger).
  2. A Focused Mind: A focused mind sees no obstacles (leopard).
  3. Balanced Emotions: Balanced emotions do not yield to negativity (crane).
  4. Persistent Action: Persistent action achieves a goal without quitting (snake).
  5. A Creative Spirit: A creative spirit has no self doubt (dragon).


We hope you’ll join us in this fun and creative exploration!


Want to continue learning? You may also like:

Back to School Blues (& Joys): The Importance of Creating Space for Creativity

Four Keys to Helping Children Cope with Anxiety

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