Recipe for Success

Sunday and Monday I would like to talk about parenting, family and relationships. Wednesday, a recipe for food and Friday something to help those out there who are fellow writers.

Hope I can keep up with this schedule!

Today’s topic is about creativity. How to foster and how not to foster creativity.

Someone I know who volunteers in church nurseries all the time. She notes that there are people who do not discipline their own children and do not even correct the run-all-over and not care-what -I do behavior of other children in small groups. A teacher might sympathize. Children who are not required to stand in line quietly, not bother their peers, use indoor voices, etc. etc. etc.

My volunteer informant who was simply letting off steam, then noted that these same people who do not see any need to seek respectful behavior from the children, change completely during the craft time. My informant has termed them: “Craft Nazis”.

This is not school, mind you. These are simple crafts where a child might want to try something different. Instead of developing a picture or folding and pasting according to what is in the leader’s head, the child feels safe enough to try another approach to the problem. In working with children at craft exercises after storytimes, I have learned a lot by asking a child why he or she chose a certain way to draw or work on a problem. My own children got blank paper and drawing pencils each year to make their own patterns and pictures. A child’s mind should be gently directed, not forced  into a set mold. Guiding is not pushing,

My friend notes that such pasting, cutting, drawing out side of the lines is “jumped on”, and corrected by the same adults who saw no problem with letting these children run wild in play.

Rules are to teach self-discipline and respect for others folks– crafts are creative expression. It does not matter where they put the bird’s wing. Perhaps they have a different idea about wings that we could all learn from. Perhaps the child would like to make a tree red because red is his or her favorite color.Creativity is about finding yourself . Behavior is about learning to respect the rights of others. There is no need for harsh discipline, just a few simple words of correction and distraction to a different task. Such gentle guidance will mold behavior just as acceptance of a different approach in art will allow the child to develop at his or her own pace and perhaps teach us all something new.


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