Defining family-centred, in pictures

If there is indeed a permissive-to-authoritarian parenting spectrum, I  fall, by conscious choice, closer to the P than the A. But, the phrases “child-centred” and “child-led” raise my hackles. I’ve  always liked “family-centred” or “whole-family focused” for those moments when absolutely pressed to slap a label on us. But those terms are pretty hard for me to define (although, in the past, I’ve tried to do so here, Finding Your Family’s Harmony, and here, 10 Habits From the House of Permissiveness).

Except on New Year’s Eve 2012. The way we sent off 2012 and brought in 2013 was, to me, the perfect illustration of a family-centred life… and a rockin’ party. The party was so good no one took the time to take pictures. But here are a few pictures of the aftermath.

First view of the kitchen in the morning:


The Perplexus in the remnants of the cheeseplate:


Ender posing in front of the “Kids’ Art Wall” in the kitchen:

Kids Wall 2

This was the little kids’ art wall: the toddlers went to town on it with tempera paint, and then the older kids came and added their handprints… they got a little over-enthusiastic and started to mark up our map, at which point I redirected…

Kids wall 1

The older kids and adults put their marks here:

Whole Wall

This wall is the view that greets you when you walk up our entry way stairs into our main living area. It’s the wall that gets diritiest and most marked up in life. We were planning to repaint it at some point this year… in the interm, it’s our wall of awesomeness. Here are some close ups:

Wall Peacock

Wall 2

Wall Organs

Wall Classic Mark

And in the morning, we cleaned up the debris mostly together:

Child Labour

And that, from the kids-and-adults party through to everyone working together to clean up the mess–and everyone working together to create the art (and mess)–is family-centred living to me.

What is it to you? And how did you bring in 2013?

(By the way, if you didn’t visit Cloudy With a Chance of Wine’s Best of 2012 Blog Hop on New Year’s Eve–pop over there sometimes this week when you have a chance. People linked their best posts of the year, and there are some absolute gems to be discovered. I’m still working my way through the posts, because there are so many excellent ones to read one doesn’t want to just skim.)

13 thoughts on “Defining family-centred, in pictures

  1. Loved how you sent your New Year’s Eve and that wall is truly awesome. By the way, that is how we clean up (together), because the toys at least isn’t my mess directly, but still, lol!!

  2. Are you the most awesome mother on the planet, or is it just me? I love that you let them paint and draw on the walls! That’s nothing less than perfection.

    And thanks for linking back to my blog hop again. You’re the best! There really are a lot of great posts to read there!!!

  3. This is so inspiring! Our family is suffocating at times, and then we look at each other and wonder why. We are definitely on the authoritarian side, but I can’t stand it. I would love to be a P parent. I hear my DH sometimes, and it makes me cringe. I hear myself trying to control the noise or chaos, and it makes me cringe as well. It’s funny as we teter between the land of extremes. The poor kids get very fun and supportive parents that want desperately to water and nourish them, and then our anxieties and shortcomings put a lockdown on any kind of creative flow and growth. I love your wall! We went hiking in the California desert for new year’s eve (which was amazing) and got back around 8pm, exhausted. We all went right to sleep, so there was no partying or resolution time together. However, deep within, I was pretty pleased with the day as just the outing alone was a break from our usual self containment. The action alone spoke louder than any resolutions in words we could have come up with. Thank you for allowing the sneak peeks into other possibilities. We may not end up with paint all over our walls in 2013, but at least I have another picture in my mind to aspire to, and the freedom for our little ones that it represents. I know they deserve that freedom as much as we do. Family Centered sounds so beautifully vibrant and full. Here’s to 2013, and a breath of fresh air!

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