My girl was in a mood yesterday.
I tried to help her by doing a craft project, she loves crafting and it normally does the trick of satisfying her needs. Not today.
She perked up at the end of the day with some resources she had printed out about gems. She made a booklet. Had coloured some stuff in. Was showing me different stones for each month of the year. All of this was her own initiative.
We had printed out colouring pages from the internet before, but never more "information". I was proud she had made the decision to do that on her own.
Her mood was lifted. Her excitement to pick up a new project was evident. I could see it in her eyes. And we spoke about the kind of things we could look to explore around gems.
She suggested a microscope to look at gems in detail. I suggested hunting down some books and looking in charity shops for anything gem related. She also wanted to add to her existing collection of gems.
The options are endless.
But really, what stuck with me is that this helped lift her mood. Of course, other things may have contributed to it, earlier she had gone swimming, for example. However, it felt clear to me that the exploration and focus of a new topic energised her enough to get her out of the rut she was in.
Humans are complex. It's not that self-directed eduation will always be the answer for our mental health and have the ability to lift our moods, but sometimes it can be a huge contributing factor.
I see my children engaged and content in the things they do every day. It's how I love to live life as an adult and it's only right that our children should experience the same.
I know it contributes to my well-being. It must contribute to theirs.