As a mother of small children, I count a day as a success if I manage to both get dressed and brush my hair at some point. However today getting dressed would have been counter-productive, so the girls and I spent most of the day in our pajamas.
Fortunately while doing a 2 am feed, I read an article about encouraging creativity in children (featuring one of my favorite bloggers, The Artful Parent) which left me inspired and encouraged. So my 3-year-old spent her morning creating her own test kitchen- which resulted in some surprisingly edible cakes- and twirling around the living room to The Muppet Show.
I am fascinated with human development, so watching my kids grow in comprehension and capability each day provides no end of enchantment for me. For example- for weeks B, when given pens and paper, has been filling page after page with either lines or circles, like this:
Then one day this week, she decided to draw a lion:
The premise behind the article is that it’s good to encourage creativity not only to develop artistic skills, but also because those who are creative tend to be more effective at problem solving in life. Which kind of makes sense- if a way of doing something isn’t working, we need to be able to draw on our creativity in order to think of a different approach.
One of the contributing artists in the article says something which I’ve been turning over in my head all day. When her kids are drawing and they feel they’ve made a mistake, she asks them, ‘Would you like another piece of paper, or do you want to turn it into something else?’
What a great way to look at things. I wonder what would happen if we, as adults, took this approach? How would my daily life look if, instead of calling things a fail, I thought about what I could turn them into? How would my relationships be different??
I haven’t really got any answers to these questions. I guess I’ll need to set up a little ‘test kitchen’ of my own. But in the meantime B’s lion will be framed and put on the wall to remind me just how much we are all capable of. We’re pretty fascinating, really.