Creativity happens everywhere, everyday… Would it be that horrible mess he/she did in the kitchen ‘cooking’ the hot chocolate for himself or that 3rd hour spent browsing the net, when he/she had found the latest development on the world-entertainment (read: the newest game or movie).
Nothing should be discouraged or supervised too much though. Whatever you do, it needs to INCLUDE the child in his/her wholeness as an individual with all the weaknesses and gifts/strengths. Beware though about the fashionable phenomenon -the hyper-parenting, which is the pain of today’s well-off (or aspiring) cultures…You provide a hundred and ten after-school & weekends activities: swimming, kendo, scouts…what else? Chess lessons for 7 years olds?… Why not after all? They rebel or are well-behaved, but rarely escape the stress of the quick and (yes) superficially demanding lifestyle. To truly demand on your children is to gently encourage them to face themselves and all their inner complexity. Is to make them to ask some profound questions about the world they live in…
Well – my advice is – give them some modest art&science materials – some paper, paint, drawing tools, modeling clay, some colourful books from ALL fields of knowledge, open access to the Internet… Then blend in – and I mean – BLEND IN – Period.
Think with them (never FOR them). Play with them. LET THEM BE.
That may sound harsh – but – neglectful parenting may actually suit your child better than a hyper, frantic, overbearing attention&action-bombardment. The best model is – of course the Golden Medium rule – somewhere between letting them be and the discrete guidance, based on an intelligent observation and a careful intervention.
I must have been quite deeply autistic as I reflect upon my past now… At the same time, I was never provided with any quality stimulation – I had to reach out and find it on my own. Paradoxically, poor parenting I had experienced might have vitally contributed to my high-functionality. Of course – my point here is far from encouraging the child-neglect; but encouraging the creative approach to parenting.
Creative approach is an open-ended project, a work-in-progress rather than any ‘product’ oriented way of parenting. Treat the child as if s/he was gifted (most children ARE in different ways) – give a LOT of quality choices and resources, but never with any pressure or control. Respect the child’s “No” – offer the similar in a different way, or change the scene altogether.
Above all – DO HAVE FUN. Enjoy it – they will realize it sooner yourself…
Some pages to follow: Exquisite Minds