A Dialogue with Clara Valentí

“Travelling with my family is what fills my heart the most. The farthest or the most exotics places are not the aim anymore. But places we can enjoy as a family, especially surrounded by nature, mountains, water… are perfect for us now. No stress, no schedules.”

What is your main source of inspiration for your love of nature and healthy lifestyle?

About the healthy lifestyle… It was a bit unplanned also. Some years ago I found myself in a period of stress, suffering from anxiety, lack of energy and ideas, not feeling myself at all…I realised I needed a change. I used to practice sports and do exercise already, but my interest in healthy food and finding balance between my needs and obligations drove me to quit my former job and sign up for courses in healthy cooking and natural dietetics.

My love for nature comes from my childhood. Weekends, holidays, used to be in the mountains with my parents and friends. What I never planned is — I would end up living with my family in a house surrounded by greenery, fields and forest.

Avoiding stress, doing what I like and feel comfortable with, living surrounded by nature with my family, practising sports, and being kind to myself… all this together inspires our current lifestyle.

Your favourite holiday destination? How do you create lasting memories with your family?

Travelling is my biggest passion. I always say travelling is my fuel (planning it, the journey itself, the memories….). So travelling with my family is what fills my heart the most. The farthest or the most exotics places are not the aim anymore. But places we can enjoy as a family, especially surrounded by nature, mountains, water… are perfect for us now. No stress, no schedules.

We kept travelling overseas after our first baby was born, but after the second child, we realised we would enjoy more another kind of travel. We wanted more adventure and improvisation but in a more relaxed way (avoiding bookings, tickets, airplanes…) so we searched for our own RV. It has been the best decision ever!! It is like we are on holidays every weekend we are away, even if it is just one night!! I hope all these trips (big or small!) will last in our memories forever and I am sure my kids will find it as special as I do.

Do you read with your children? Do you think reading with your children is important?

I have read with my girls since they were a few months old. Our home is full of books, we’ve got plenty of them, all around the house. We love them! I remember living surrounded by books as a child too. My mother, as a teacher, used to give us many books, and for any occasion. Both my parents read a lot to us. So with my babies, I never had second thoughts — whether I should read to them more or not, when to start…it just came naturally. They love books and reading as much I do. For their first 2 years, they have been at home with me pretty much every day, and reading was a daily activity, more than once per day probably! Now we still read every day before bedtime, at least a couple of books. I think reading with them is very important, for sure. Helps them think, provides imagination, learning, and it is a fun way to treat several topics on education and behavior too!

What’s your philosophy on raising imaginative and creative children?

We try to let them be themselves. Accepting their ideas, suggestions, and decisions is important. We try to avoid correcting them constantly or with pre-established rules. We let them experiment. From the beginning they have been running their own race, with us trying to guide them or intervene the minimum. Now it is just great watching them play. It is one of my favourite things in the world, watching them playing role play.

When Martina was still a baby I read “Educar en el asombro” from Catherine Lécuyer, it is a wonderful book and I recommend it to anyone with little children.

How do you promote creativity at home?

We just provide them with material and they do the rest hehe. Seriously, I mean, we’ve never directed them too much, our oldest is a creative soul in art, crafts, role play… Sometimes I have to stop myself from interrupting. I still remember offering her water-based paint, a brush and paper and turn around to find her whole armed coloured and a blank page. It used to make me nervous but now in these situations I just breathe and let them be, experiment, feel, express.

Now they are already 2 and 4, we are starting to enjoy doing a lot of activities together like origami, handicrafts, … I am a crafts and handmade lover so I love preparing it for them.

We have an art corner where we hang their work and that makes them feel so proud. I once framed a painting from Martina and she keeps it next to her bed, as her biggest treasure. Last year on Father’s day we printed one of her first drawings on a shirt for Daddy and that made her feel so important, she then wanted to make more gifts with her work printed on them.

Do you remember your childhood? What are the things you miss about it, and how is it different from your children’s?

Yes, of course, I do! When I was a child, things used to take place slower, quieter…time didn’t go so fast. Less external stimuli. Nowadays, most adults are stressed, we want to do too many things, and therefore, we pass that stress onto our children. I think it is very important to “protect” them from this time-pressure, we should respect their timings, focus on what they really need and are interested in. They don’t need to experience so many things in such a short time.

Values you live by? Values you wish your children to grow up with?

I expect my children to be kind, tolerant and respectful to other people and the society around them. But I do really wish they can be self-confident, stay positive, with no lack of self-esteem and to “fight” for their rights, dreams or beliefs. I hope they learn to be happy with what they have, enjoying as much the little things and moments as I do.

Motherhood is…

the most amazing, wonderful, rewarding, exhausting, frustrating, special, funny, tender, scary… adventure I could ever have… All together, a very beautiful experience.

Childhood is…

The best treasure every human has the chance to own, it is just a pity that we cannot all make the most of it. Therefore it is our commitment to help our children to make the most of theirs! Let them develop, learn, discover and play, play, play… guiding them with respect and love.

Visit her Instagram, Healthy and Natural Cooking

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