I believe we each have our own “super powers” or strengths that make us unique and special. As parents, we want to pass on our best traits and cultivate our children’s own super powers.
I’ve thought a lot about my own super powers and how I can best prepare my children with their own.
I was never very good at math. My dyslexia and lack of short-term memory may have had something to do with that! I’m not much use in science either: the telephone is still a mystery to me (and I mean the old-fashioned kind, never mind smartphones). Therefore, my ability to cultivate those qualities in my kids have been relegated to my husband.
So, as an entrepreneur, a creative professional and a Latina mom who wants to see her kids do good in this world, what could be the super powers I could help them cultivate?
Here are the 5 super powers I use to infuse every part of the Canticos brand. These are the same 5 super powers I instill in my children. I share them with you in hopes they can inspire the values that you cultivate in your own children.
Imagination and a love of creative play.
Cultivate an organic love of learning and creative exploration. If they can imagine things, they can build things. If they can learn to project and construct narratives around those projections, they can learn to communicate and help bring new ideas to life. This is the kind of thinking that will be valued in work places everywhere and will lead to a more constructive adulthood.
An appreciation for roots and a second language.
I regularly seek out ways to expose my children to my language and my culture. Why? Because being bilingual is truly good for their brains. I also want my children to be proud of their roots, and gain confidence from their ability to navigate between cultures. I want them to be able to share with their relatives and bond with others through this shared culture.
This will better prepare them to bond with people from other communities as well, that might be foreign to their own, and create a sense of openness that will be very valuable to them long term.
Sense of humor.
Humor and intelligence go hand and hand; the one thrives off of the other. But humor can do so much more. The ability to laugh at oneself or at a situation is one of the healthiest things one can do.
To appreciate the humor in any given context and laugh about it, is a crucial part of stress management. It’s also a wonderful bonding tool for lasting friendships, an ice breaker for when tensions are high, and, a crucial ingredient for creating an enjoyable life. If I can teach my child how to be happy, and make others smile along the way, I will have done my job well.
An appreciation for music and rhythm.Experts talk about the value of music and its influence on memory, pattern, spatial intelligence, social activity, creative thought, etc. The benefits seem endless.
For me, music is logic. It’s math transformed into a universal language that everyone understands. It tells us in an abstract way that things have a reason for being, that there is harmony in the world and that somehow, it all comes together and makes sense. The ability to create music develops a healthy and lasting confidence. And last but not least, really great music can lift your spirit and change the mood of a room.
Sense of empathy & warmth.
If I can instill one value above all others, it is a sense of generosity of spirit. That one should seek to understand and empathize with playmates of all sizes, shapes, backgrounds and cultures. That hugs are good and that nurturing yields results – whether it's a project or a person. At the end of the day we are all on this planet together and it is crucial that we take care of each other as best we can.
About the author
Susie is an artist, entrepreneur, creative force and mom raising two bilingual children. In partnership with Nuria Santamaria Wolfe, she founded Encantos – a family entertainment and education company for today’s multicultural families. Susie is the creator behind Canticos – a bilingual baby and toddler brand with books, apps, and sing-along videos. Susie serves as Executive Producer of Canticos digital shorts which are now available across Nick Jr.’s digital preschool platforms: on NickJr.com/Canticos, Nick Jr.’s YouTube page and on the Nick Jr. and NOGGIN apps.