• Dasaratha Rama

Picturing Parenting with a Paper Plate

Updated: Jun 26

Rama's parenting philosophy and process on one paper plate!


Ananth has been folding paper plates for more than a decade! I bought a book on Wholemovement by Bradford Hansen-Smith. My expectation was that we would use the book for a month or two. However, Ananth was drawn to Wholemovement. He persisted in folding and coloring circles for many years. Slowly, we started using circles to organize our ideas.


Yesterday, we created a Learning4LIFE wheel with a circle folded into 3-diameters, one of the earliest folding activities that we did many years ago!



1. Answer LIFE questions

  • L: Learn daily: What do you learn daily?

  • I: Interests: What do you like to do daily?

  • F: Family interactions: How do you learn with your family daily?

  • E: Engagement: How do you engage your community daily?

Answer these questions for yourself. Encourage your child to answer these questions.

2. Think about a possible project that you want to do to learn with your child (e.g., reading, learning coding, learning art). Ask:

  • Is this for me?

  • What is doable now?

  • What can I do next?

  • How can I get it done?

  • How am I doing?

All questions may not be relevant at all times. For example, if you have already started a project (e.g., coding), the relevant question may be:

  • What can I do next?

3. Notice and record moments that are likely to influence your choices. For example, when COVID 19 lockdowns started, certain activities were no longer doable. However, other activities became more doable. For example, face-to-face lessons and interactions were not doable but there was more time for other activities.



4. Choose a small, well-defined project that will move you towards your long-term goal. For example, read a certain number of books with your child in the next month.


5. Record daily activities and progress


6. What capacities and resources do you have now for doing your intended project?


7. Past Moments: Write about a moment in your past that led you to consider the current project:

  • When you make a new connection

  • When you had a meaningful conversation

  • When you clarified a possibility, goal, or activity

  • When you made a choice

  • When you learned a new skill

  • When you improved your daily activities/routines/project workflow

For example, you made a connection with a professional or learned about a program some time ago that you want to explore now.


In 2014, our exploration of circles and folding became more purposeful. Ananth developed the concept of Fold, Color, Talk during an entrepreneurship camp. Many years later, we are using folding to organize our ideas and journaling with circles!



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