I had a brief, yet interesting discussion with my Mom about creativity. I have always realized that people are creative in different areas and on different levels, but a point she made has really stuck with me. Not everyone can think creatively or originally. It is a gift. A blessing to be appreciated and cherished, never to be taken for granted. Something we need to use, but never to the detriment of one who may not be able to see things the way we can.

This sums up my thoughts, but I'd like to take it further. I have to believe that creativity and originality are somewhat innate, but also have to believe that like a small seed they are thoughts, feelings, and ideas that can be grown and increased. While I would love nothing more than to increase these things in myself, I feel that there is more possibility and potential within my kids. The question is then, how do I help them develop these gifts while realizing that it is really up to them?

From things I have read and from my own experiences I believe that originality and the ability to think for one's self are going to be more necessary than ever as our world continues to change. Higher education is no longer the exception and great jobs are going to be harder to find. Add in school systems that seem to put more of a a focus on "the right answer is the only answer," rather than exploring all the different ways you can get to one of many solutions, and you start to worry that your child could turn into one more cookie in a cookie cutter world. Those that will be able to rise above and truly succeed are those that will cultivate originality and innovation, the ability to look outside the box and find what works, not just for them but for everything around them.

So how do I help cultivate that seed of curiosity, that desire to explore and learn more?

Some rambling additions on another night:

How do I raise a child that thinks for himself, and that feels a need for something more, something uniquely his that he can call his own? A child that is comfortable with that uniqueness, with that individuality, with not being one of the crowd. A child that doesn't just strive for a higher level, but one that looks for and finds ways to get there. How do I help this child to know that reaching that level isn't always the important thing, and that the lessons he can learn from attempting those heights are likely the most important thing he can take with him? That the only one that can truly measure his success is himself?

M has a game that I hate because he gets worked up if it doesn't look like the bottom of the box that he is always looking at to make sure things are put together the right way even though there are many more possibilities than what the box shows. I need to toss it (alright, donate it). I try to put thought into the toys and books that we own, making sure that most are interesting and require thought rather than button-pushing. I do fun stuff with the kids although I do it more on a quality rather than quantity level because I would go insane if all I did was do stuff with them all day or even every day. Maybe that is a bad thing but I like to think that it forces them to come up with ways to entertain themselves. It is also why walls and furniture get colored on. But to be with them 24/7, solving their every problem would be harmful to all of us. If I stepped in at every whimper they would never learn how to solve a problem on their own and would never feel the pride and satisfaction gained when one realizes their confidence in their own abilities.


Al, Ash & Family said...

I love your commentary and find myself asking some of the same questions, so where are the answers? I was thinking you'd have something great to share with me :)Lets have a "pick my brain" post. Share some insights :)

Holly said...

Thanks Ashley. Does the pick my brain post mean everyone comments and shares or am I supposed to share the insight?

Holly said...

I should have added that I don't have the answers which is why I wrote this to get my brain thinking about it!!!