What is a ‘hearsong’ you ask? In the penguin world according to the comedy adventure, “Happy Feet”, a ‘heartsong’ is the release of song, sound or movement, expressing ones’ innermost feelings, individuality and personality. For that reason alone, Dellos Performing Arts Studios offer a wide variety of dance styles and teaching approaches that are bound to attract and strike the different strings of their students’ hearts, allowing them the chance to ‘find their own heartsong’. Like poor little Mumble-penguin who wasn’t lucky enough to be born with a beautiful voice necessary to attract a soul mate in the penguin world, so is the reality of ‘falling short’ in any daily competitive arena. When we don’t find what really satisfies us in our day-to-day lives, we try to fit in or change who we are just to please others. Often times we’re embarrassed or ridiculed into continuing an activity or career direction without a committed heart, leaving us feeling disappointed and less than emotionally fulfilled.
Sports, dance, music, crafts, martial arts, gymnastics, community clubs and church groups are just a few of the numerous choices and opportunities available to supplement our children’s academic lives today. But how do we find which extra-curricular activities are exactly right for them? Unfortunately, television and film influence sometimes play a large role in introducing and exposing children to fad-like or age-inappropriate activities. Mimicking the activities of adults often finds children tutored in or seeking activities that are egged on by over-zealous and highly competitive parents.
As parents, we sometimes push too hard, demanding the same enthusiasm shown towards activities or interests of our own personal choice. Sometimes we inadvertently find ourselves living through our children, fulfilling some of our own voids. Looking back at the early years of my own two grown children, I realize that I may have placed too much of an emphasis on being the best on the team, at the top of the class or being in the center of the dance line. Teaching the importance of commitment, I enforced the participation of an activity from the beginning to the end, sometimes to the point of my children experiencing an irreparable a loss of self-confidence and embarrassment along the way. It’s not until your grown child asks, “Why did you make me give up soccer for dance? or “Why did you make me play softball when I wanted to dance?”” that you realize the sacrifice children sometimes make just to please their parents.
What we as parents want our children to do and what we think is best for them may not actually make our children feel whole and complete. So what’s the answer? Allow the child to express a desire to attend a class, play on a team or experience an audition or try-out process. Explain the pros and cons of the activity, the overall time commitment involved and the possibility of physical injuries. Research and find out as much as you can about the activity and be prepared to give your child options. Make a verbal or written contact in increments of months at a time, not for an entire season. Be careful not to belittle or blame the child if he or she doesn’t excel and flourish as hoped or expected. Seek activities that allow the expression of emotion and release of inhibition, those that will ultimately encourage the positive development of self. Words of praise and acknowledgement are more valuable keepsakes than ribbons and trophies received by only a select few. As we continue to find our own heartsong we are better prepared to help our children find theirs. A happy home is a home whose ‘sounds of happy heartsong’ ring out loud and clear! Dellos Studios become that ‘happy place’ for children to feel safe, loved and appreciated….