Take a risk!

Have you ever just sat and watched children.  It is very enlightening.  Now, don’t go doing this in an obvious way.  You may just be picked up by the police and have to explain yourself.  But if you can, try to observe children and pay attention to what they do and say.  Children are just like adults in that they want approval for the things they do.  But they aren’t born that way.  It has to be learned.  As parents and caregivers we have the incredible responsibility of teaching the children in our care how to behave and how to respond.  There are good ways and bad ways to do this.  I believe children should be taught to be respectful, to say good morning and to learn appropriate manners and they can be taught these things.  But then I also see children who can’t or won’t draw a picture or try to make a creation in the art center.  And I immediately know which children are taught what is right or wrong when using their creative minds.  Actually for children, there is no right or wrong about being creative.  If they want to draw a picture of a person and put the ear where the chin is or the eye where the nose is or use feathers when making a lion’s mane and yarn when creating a  bird, what’s wrong with that?  But you say, that’s not how you draw a face.  How will they learn where the nose and eyes go?  Well, I’m going to be blunt here, but as  a child grows if they don’t know where the eyes, nose and mouth are on a person then that child has bigger problems than drawing a picture.  Do you know any child over the age of 2 who can’t tell you where their eyes, nose and mouth is?  I don’t!!  And I work with children all day long.  It pains me to see a child try to draw and stop and look up to the adult in the room to see if what they are doing is “correct”.  What’s correct when you are using your creative mind?  No one told George Lucas that there isn’t really such a thing as a Wookie.   Or a space ship that can destroy a planet or a little tiny weird looking animal who trains people to become Jedi masters.  And what is a Jedi master anyway.  There isn’t such a thing.  But if the adults in George Lucas’ life had told him that he couldn’t create those things we wouldn’t have the wonderful Star Wars story in which we can lose ourselves in the fantasy world of space travel.  Allowing a child to be creative involves that child taking a risk to see if the adults he loves and trusts in his life will let him. So, teach your child how to be polite to others and how to greet people and the rights and wrongs of social interaction but let em loose to be the creative being that God made them.  They just may be the next George Lucas or the next Mother Theresa or Picaso.  The sky is the limit.

Barbara

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