Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Creative Child

A couple of weeks ago I ran into a wonderful mommy-blog from a woman who has a significantly creative child. She has documented their creative endeavors of paper dressmaking with words and pictures - celebrating this special child.  Shortly thereafter, hanks to a blog I subscribe to (Donald Miller), I found another blogger (Penelope Trunk) who turned me on to yet another blogger (Dr. Noa Kageyamawhere I found an entry on bias against creativity. In this entry Dr. Kageyama reports on a research project about creative children. The researchers behind this project identified characteristics of the most creative children.

The creative child. . .
  • Makes up the rules as he/she goes along
  • Impulsive
  • Nonconformist
  • Emotional
  • Takes chances
  • Tends not to know own limitations and tries to do what others think is impossible
And the least creative children are more. . .
  • Tolerant
  • Reliable
  • Practical
  • Logical
  • Understanding
  • Good-natured
  • Sincere
  • Dependable

Guess which group teachers favor? Not surprisingly it's the tolerant, reliable, practical, logical, understanding, good-natured, sincere and dependable children from the least creative group. 

Now, with my new-found knowledge of Multiple Intelligences I wasn't surprised to read this. Teachers are devoted to education,  which is more about putting knowledge in than pulling creativity out, and they necessarily have many students, which makes conformity desirable. Unfortunately, for some children, their creative side interferes with conformity, which disrupts conventional classrooms and causes them to feel there's something wrong with them.

And shadowing all of my thoughts is the recent death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman who, judging by his career and unfortunate death, was incredibly creative (and impulsive, unaware of his own limitations, nonconformist, risk-taking and emotional.) I don't want to stifle a child's creativity, but I certainly wish to keep him safe.

Every child is created in the image of God, and God is most certainly creative! So the creative child is no more or less valuable than any other child, but that creativity needs to be nurtured, and celebrated. Pay attention, you'll be amazed by the ideas your creative child generates. Take said child to museums, libraries, laboratories, and landforms. Find opportunities to experience different cultures, art studios and the kitchen. Visit any place that will supply her with new information to fuel her imagination. Allow extra time to transition from the world of ideas to the world of boxes and lines. Make sure that he or she knows you love his or her creativity, that it's one of the qualities you appreciate. It is both a burden and a privilege to rear a creative child; when in doubt, turn to the creator of us all. I can guarantee you'll hatch an idea that will help you create a suitable environment to foster your child's creativity.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Interesting! My family is split exactly half and half. I knew that, but I hadn't identified the differences as creativity.