My Little Origami Boy

Every parent wants a bright future for their child. They want to make sure that their little one grows up into a healthy, happy, and well-rounded individual. Every achievement by their son or daughter is seen as a step forward in shaping their child’s personality.

But what can you do when, in the first years of his life, your child hesitates to socialize with other children? What is the proper thing to do when your child seeks only your company, prefers to play alone and rejects group activities with other kids his age?

In kindergarten, my son was very shy and withdrawn. He did not socialize with other children and he did not participate much in class activities. He usually played alone in a corner while the others sang with the teachers or listened to stories. When the children drew, painted or made collages, my son’s work was not one of the better ones and it suggested his indifference toward these activities.

As a mother, I was painfully aware of this and I wondered how to make him more responsive to other people. I worried about his desire to be alone all the time and it made me sad. I wanted him to create beautiful things, of which I could be proud. I tried to encourage him away from his solitary hobbies and into more sociable activities with other children.

When my son was 8 years old, he found a short movie about origami online. Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper. He liked it and he became interested in learning more about it. At first he just watched different origami videos. Then he started trying to fold paper himself. The first model of origami that he managed to make was a heart. Next, he learned to fold many animal models: cranes, butterflies, frogs, spiders, monkeys, scorpions, crabs, and so much more! Now, all he does is make origami artworks!

At school, during recess, he would make origami pieces. When his teachers saw what he was doing, they decided to make a special board that displayed his origami models. This was his first origami exhibition.

That summer, I saw an online contest “Butterflies and Flowers”, organized by the origami group “Cranes” in Oneşti. I decided to enter my son in the contest. His entry was a plate of patterns consisting of flowers and butterflies. He was announced the winner! I was both amazed and delighted and I decided he should continue in this way.

In October, he participated in the Chrysanthemum Festival. The organizers gave him a space in which he created an exhibit with his origami models. He was there for three days and even conducted workshops for people who wanted to learn origami! This was very tiring for my son, but a very nice experience nevertheless.

To date, my son has won first place in origami contests 18 times!

Now, my son is 11 years old and here in Galaţi, everyone admires his creations. He continues to take part in contests, exhibits and he still conducts origami workshops. He is a member of Forum Roman de Origami, a group that wants to spread the passion for origami in Romania. His membership in this group has given him plenty of opportunities to meet people from other countries and to understand the culture of other nations. He has helped African students to fold paper, he has received personal origami lessons from a Japanese teacher and, in Romania, he has worked with the association “Cultural Roots”, a group that encourages appreciation for Japanese culture in Romania.

I have learned from my son’s story that you must have patience with your child. You must not be afraid when you feel that there is something quite different with your young one. Do not try to force or push them into doing certain things. Just surround your child with love and attention and he or she will soon shine with their own special light.

I would like to encourage parents to help their children find their passion and to support it, whatever it may be. Getting involved in a hobby that they feel passionate about will help children develop many important qualities: tenacity, courage, patience, ambition, focus, and confidence—traits that will certainly be very helpful later in their lives.

Today, my son is no longer shy or withdrawn. He is friendly and sociable. He likes to be surrounded by people, especially when these people want to learn about the art of origami. His shyness and his desire to be alone were surpassed by his desire to share with others his love for origami.

I am very proud of him.

Author: Laura Hubati,

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