CREATIVE ENRICHMENT FOR FAMILIES
I found much enrichment in reading stories to my daughter every night until she was twelve years old. To this day we share those rich experiences. Many years ago we sat on the sofa and I drew pictures for my daughter. She told me how she wanted the figure to look and I, to the best of my ability, drew that figure. It was just a fun game at the time, but it was that kind of creative play that honed my daughter’s creative talents in the future and brought us closer together as two who had interacted creatively. But what I’ve learned is that giving your kids personal time is better than prioritizing any video game they might play, better than any late report you might have to put together, better than huddled around the TV, better than just about anything. And here’s why…
When you interact with your children through reading, writing, painting, drawing, etc. you are joining them. Personal dialogues, day by day, father/son: “… He took the ball from me, he called me a rat, do your homework, don’t mess up the kitchen, feed the dog, clean your feet”… .. it just isn’t part of the interactive creative dialogue. Father and son are on the same level. Everyone shares creative moments: your kids enjoy listening to you read to them, they enjoy drawing pictures with them and telling stories about the pictures, they all have fun writing about the day they welcomed their cute kitty, who has now grown into a big, pompous family cat .
FORGET THE FATHER/SON DIALOGUE
You are away from the petty mess of parents scolding children and children reacting negatively. Reading, writing, and doing art projects together puts everyone on the same page. If you maintain the same level of play with all the participants and forget about the father and son roles that you normally play, you will have fun!
Okay, but there’s still soccer, football, ballet, and when in the world can you find time for creative play? Take time for creative interaction. Yes, it is important that your child’s team win the next game and you should be there to cheer them on. But taking a little time, even twenty minutes, to read, write, and draw together will help you win his heart as a trustworthy, loving parent who is willing to get to know him on his level and share a creative process with him.
THE MESSAGE IS THE MENTAL MASSAGE
Life goes on, children grow up fast. Taking those twenty minutes for yourself once or twice a week will change the texture of your lives. Yes, it will be hard to keep them away from their video game and texting friends. But soon her message will be clear: “I just want to spend some time with you.” No lectures, no reprimands, no insults, just time spent together on a little project to find out what you’re both made of without the roles of father and son to play. One night, try this. Turn off the TV. Turn off video games. Sit down with the children and make up a story. A small and simple story. And then everyone draws it. Pass the drawings and talk about the drawing, no criticism, no disparagement, just talk.
OK, everyone’s yawning, I know. But that will happen if you repeat it next week and the week after. You’re going to start having a good time. It can be a bit scary at first. It’s not a video game or television. It’s just you and the kids. Don’t worry. Soon, you will discover some things about yourselves, familiar things that soccer and ballet can’t solve. Like who you are as interrelated human beings, what do you think of each other and how, without competition or bad words from anyone, you can look at each other and admire each other for who you are.
THAT NICE CREATIVE FEELING
Do you remember how you wanted to paint an oil painting? Do you remember the drawing class you took in community college and you loved it? Recall the creative things you’ve done, like finding the right knobs for your kitchen cabinets, installing low-voltage lighting around your driveway to dramatically illuminate trees and bushes, or making that goofy birthday card for your kid, because he just couldn’t. t find one that was correct? You got a warm glow from those projects, didn’t you? Good.
CREATIVE TIME FOR YOURSELF
Take some creative time for yourself. Well, currently your private time is between 10:30 and 11:00 at night, when you can read a few pages of that novel you’ve renewed three times from the local library and then hang up. Take advantage of YOUR OWN twenty creative minutes once or twice a week. Decide what you will do during those twenty minutes. Draw, paint, write? Connect to your creative mind, not for the boss, but for yourself. Remember favorite places and images from childhood. Write or draw on them. Enhance your life with color through pastels or acrylic or oil paints. Discover the magic of media and artistic skills. Sit down with a sketch pad and draw the plants in your house. Make a cake from a picture of your neighbor at your last New Year’s Eve party (it was sooo much fun, wasn’t it?)
It will take a month or so. After these creative times, you will feel the ripple effect. It’s a good feeling caused by instructing your conscious and subconscious to be creative and delve into the parts of your brain that give you a healthy and well-balanced (even wise!) sense of being. Then increase those minutes. Try twenty to thirty minutes a day. The ripple effect will be more like a positive tidal wave of good feelings, tapping into the powers of your mind that have been dormant for too long.
self-improvement, creativity, family enrichment