By Whitney Freya
Would you say that your life since school has been more reflective of a BLANK CANVAS or a MULTIPLE CHOICE TEST? Today we live in a world that celebrates new ideas, adaptability, self-motivation and originality. And it is just going to continue rapidly upward on this trajectory. This is why creativity and the exercise of creating artwork is now more valuable than ever. Every time a child looks at a blank canvas, a hunk of clay, or a blank page, then surveys the resources they have available, and decides what THEY want to create, they are modeling more closely the mental processes that will help them succeed in the adult world.
As a parent, imagining your child launching herself into life after college, which voice would you rather have in her head…”I can make this happen…” or “What should I do next?”
[box type=”success” align=”aligncenter” ]Creativity develops the “can do” attitude, confidence in one’s ability to create change, and an attraction to abstract situations, open-ended opportunities and unlimited potential.[/box]
The treasure in developing personal creativity in our children is that it teaches them HOW to think rather than WHAT to think. Since WHAT our children will be doing in 10-15 years is largely unknown, HOW to excel in unknown situations, HOW to adapt and innovate and HOW to see potential, rather than limits, is the greater goal.
“When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressive creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and opens ways for better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it and shows there are still more pages possible.” -Robert Henri
Creativity is developed when the unknown is introduced into the awareness of an individual and the invitation is made to fill the void with original thought, action, or form. If our children are not comfortable with the unknown they will struggle adjusting to the modern, adult world that demands adaptability, originality and resilience. As parents, we can also become our own “Creative Kid” and model the fearlessness and creativity inherent in any creative exercise.
Three “Creativity Workouts” that you and your kids can do today around the kitchen table
#1 The Scribble Drawing: You can do this individually, or as a family. Scribble with your eyes closed quickly and then see what you see in the scribble. OR, scribble and then pass it to the person next to you. Keep passing until you get it back and look for a message.
#2 The Drawing Is Energy Creativity Workout : Pick a color, or two, from the box of crayons or markers, set a timer on your phone or stove, and simply make marks for 3-5 minutes. Then, compare shapes. Circle, curvy people tend to be more “right brain,” more interested in getting along than being right. Geometric people like their facts and logic and tend to be more practical. OR maybe shapes speak differently to your family.
#3 MANDALAS These are so fun and are guaranteed to bring your family back to “center.” Anything drawn in a circle is a “mandala,” but here is a more traditional example done with crayons or markers…
Once you understand that CREATIVITY is not about being “good” at painting or drawing, but about CREATING the life you (and your kids want) AND about problem solving, adapting to the constant change in this world, and innovation, then you can have FUN and raise creative kids that ROCK!