More thoughts on creativity

A friend expressed interest in knowing more answers to my "helping your child increase creative thinking" thoughts. Since I really don't have any answers I will try to piece together thoughts as I have them.

I think that raising a child who thinks for herself and thinks creatively means that I have to indulge any creative and independent thoughts from a young age. As my kids develop new opinions and preferences, I need to go with them and indulge the free-spirited wild ideas and let them feel like their choices and opinions matter and that I support them. Sure, my daughter looks like a complete fruitcake in her outfit of choice, but the important thing is that this is the outfit of her choice. Yes, dropping off and picking up her older brother at preschool made me grin sheepishly, but that is just fine.

Naturally I still have to parent these choices and make sure that I am not letting things be pushed passed reasonable limits. I don't want to raise a bunch of wild brats (even though I might occasionally feel like that is exactly what I am doing!). I also want to make sure that my kids are safe and not endangering themselves.

Which leads to my other thought. There are consequences to every decision we make, and finding these consequences out for ourselves is an effective way to learn. If my little stinkers think that going out without a coat is fine when the wind chill puts the temperature below negative, letting them go out coat-less for a minute will not cause them to freeze and will probably have them running back for a coat almost immediately. And they just took responsibility for their decision, hooray!

We had an interesting twist on this situation today that I probably shouldn't share because it shows what a bad parent I am, but here it is: A glass was broken and both kids insisted that they wanted to help me clean it up. I said no because it is dangerous and carted M off to school with the plan to do it right after we returned. When I started cleaning A would not leave the situation alone, she was so focused on helping me clean that she couldn't see straight. She is rather stubborn and snuck in and grabbed a piece of glass and put it in the garbage. At this point I had repeatedly warned her of getting hurt, so stopped and carefully helped her put one more piece in the garbage. The third piece was the piece that cut her. After an emotional minute and many more spent holding her thumb to stop the blood she was bandaged up and ready to go. I was incredibly grateful that the cut was minor. The rest of the day involved her telling all of us how she got cut on the glass and that her finger is hurt. She was actually quite proud of it. (The funny part? It is the thumb she sucks that is bandaged up so I am curious to see if this helps wean her off of it.) I don't need anyone telling me how bad this could have turned out and how I should have put her in a locked room while I cleaned up. I know this. I also know that she now knows what glass can do to her and next time a glass breaks or she sees glass in the street, I have more hope that she will remember the pain in her finger and either be very careful or walk away and come get me.

So, this is mostly for me because it helps me to process my thoughts when I write them, but I hope this is a bit helpful to the one person that was interested. Hopefully any future thoughts will be more groundbreaking!


Shellbells said...

Hey just found your blog. Your girl sounds alot like mine. Very stubborn and strongwilled . I like reading your opinion and has helped me with my parenting thanks


Holly said...

Thanks and you're welcome.

We love stubborn and strong willed children . . .