Solomon stresses that such uninterrupted family time is critical to a child’s development. “It’s not about the amount of time, but the quality of undivided attention. Even if it’s 15 minutes: Be focused. Turn off the cell phone. Make the commitment, to yourself and your child, that you’re going to be fully present,” she says. “For a very young child, it’s for the bathing or the feeding. With an older child, it can be a meal or a conversation—some time to give undivided attention, to really connect. When there has been an emotional connection, then it’s going to be much easier for them to let go and sleep.”
Artist-parents have to finely balance the self-awareness (and at times, selfishness) needed for one’s own practice with the selflessness required for parenting. This balance can be challenging for artists, who not only have to structure their own time in the studio but for whom lifestyle has, to some degree, become equated with their work and brand.
And artists are often uniquely sensitive to the importance of the childhood development process; they have the patience, experience, and trust to allow that development to take place naturally, without overtly dictating or forcing it. And they know that—whether they’re wrestling with a challenging sculpture or a precocious three-year-old—allowing for openness, trust, and failure can lead to breakthroughs.