The Power of Imagination & Play with Budsies

As Shawn takes care of his ‘children’, he’s practicing empathy, people management skills, and how to perspective shift and see things from their point of view. He’s practicing how to respond to what they may need instead of only what he needs (theory of mind). He’s practicing how to lead his ‘children’ with compassion and creativity.

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“Mom, I have two children. This is Sonic and this is my Budsies, Shawn The Creative Kid. I love taking care of them!” – 5 yr old Shawn

I’m watching my son ‘parent’ his two children and I suddenly realize this is his training ground. He’s in creative practice.

I honestly believe we have a whole group of men out there from my generation and older generations who never had the opportunity to practice caregiving with kindness. Young girls are encouraged to play with the dolls and create imaginary worlds where they are taking care of the dolls, showing them love, and building positive family and work situations, —> all through play.

But for our young boys, having a doll and doing the same thing is seen as unacceptable, seen as ‘girlie’, or seen as being ‘too soft or weak. “Boys DON’T play with dolls!” I constantly hear adults say to male children. We prefer them to go play with Nerf guns, BB guns, or have G.I. Joe’s that are constantly in battle. Many of our young boys were taught how to lead through force instead of leading through compassion. They never had the opportunity to practice.

As Shawn takes care of his ‘children’, he’s practicing empathy, people management skills, and how to perspective shift and see things from their point of view. He’s practicing how to respond to what they may need instead of only what he needs (theory of mind). He’s practicing how to lead his ‘children’ with compassion and creativity.

He’s in practice.

We have quite a few leaders out there who are in charge of a lot of people, who never had the opportunity to practice how to lead with love.

Empathy needs practice.
Leadership needs practice.
Compassion needs practice.

How are you practicing? How are you allowing those in your care to ‘practice’?

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As the 2019 LA Lakers Business Woman and the 2015 CA Charter Teacher of the Year, Genein is a national thought leader and creator of the concept of ‘Intercultural Creativity® and NeuroSomatic Creativity®’. She is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of CAFFE Strategies, LLC which is a consulting, coaching and training company that trains C-Suite executives and employees to create sustainable organizational equity and inclusion strategies, based on neuroscience, while unleashing their innovative thinking for themselves and in their businesses and schools. Her 7 Gems of Intercultural Creativity® is a leading framework that encourages corporations in their diversity and inclusion development while developing critical cognitive tools for creative thinking. Her first book, From Debt To Destiny: Creating Financial Freedom From the Inside Out connects creative thinking to financial agility and was an international bestseller in 5 finance categories. Her book, 7 Gems of Intercultural Creativity: Connecting, Creating and Innovating Across Cultural Lines is the only book on this topic. She recently published her second children’s book My Brain My Beautiful Brain! with her 5-year-old son, Shawn Letford. Genein believes creative thinking thrives best in an inclusive environment and she is often called ‘America’s Creative Coach’ for her work in reigniting intercultural creativity within our workforce.