One of my favorite times in art classes was pottery. It was so much fun to start with a lump of clay and work it into something. We would always start with simple “pinch pots” and then work into making coil pots. Eventually we would work towards the wheel. When you watch other people throw on a wheel it looks so easy. Then you get a blob of clay and the wheel begins to move. It can quickly turn to chaos with clay everywhere. If you don’t put enough guiding pressure with your hands the clay spins out of control and gets really floppy. Too much pressure with your hands and you can easily push a hole in your pot. Either way too much or too little you end up with a very misshapen pot.
This can be a valuable lesson for us as parents. The wheel can be used to illustrate the outside influences on our children’s lives, which we really don’t have control over. It is our job to guide them through this by placing protective boundaries to help process through these influences. Too little or no boundaries and we will have a mess on our hands. Interestingly enough too much pressure and we will have holes in our pot as well. Just like when we are over controlling, we have not taught our children how to process through situations. When this happens they will have no idea what to do when they are out on their own for the first time.
A final thing to take note of is early on in the process of the pot you do have to guide it more to make it look the way you want it to, where as by the end of the process it is a light touch to finish off.
Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.