matti keyboard

Today is my son’s 16th birthday. Seems like just yesterday he was a toddler climbing on the furniture and exploring everything life had to offer.  As parents, we encouraged him to try new things and gave him plenty of opportunities to try out his creativity.  Crayons and glue were always close by. Yes, sometimes the house did get messy, but children thrive when given the encouragement to use a variety of media to express themselves. I was watching a video clip the other day from the Octomom’s blog page (don’t ask me why I was there, curiosity I suppose) and her parenting advice was to keep crayons and markers out of the house in order to sustain a clean home.  This broke my heart, the very symbol of childhood taken out of the home. I’m sure she is doing the best she can with what she has to work with, but children that are denied the means in which to create often suffer in many academic and social ways later in life. There is much research to support this. (You can google for more information or if you would like to message me, I can send you some articles to read.)  As my son grew, we replaced the crayons with lego.  Mountains of lego were ever present and at times I thought I would scream from all of the lego everywhere. But he began to build some fantastic lego creations, even winning some awards which earned him some cash!  Music was another form of creativity we offered to our children. At a young age, we encouraged our son to try out his dad’s instruments. We bought him a small drum kit and let him bang around on it.  Again, one might wonder why in the world would you allow a child such freedom. First of all, we did set boundries. No banging after certain hours and because we loved our son, we wanted him to explore different interests in order to give him the confidence to pursue his dreams as he grew up. Whether those dreams involved the arts or not was irrelevant. What was important was that by giving him the opportunity to explore creativity in a safe and secure environment, he felt loved and encouraged.  What are my son’s passions today? He is a very talented musician who plays a variety of instruments! Did all of the creative opportunities we allowed him to explore as a young child contribute to his confidence to pursue music? You bet!  In the classroom and in the home, make sure to offer variety and opportunity to create, explore and to be encouraged!    (photo is of my son Matt at age 6 working on a keyboard composition.)

2 thoughts on “Encouragement

  1. Elaine Yorston says:

    I loved your post about the creative options that you offered your children (this one was focused on Matt) … so true, that being meticulously tidy, does not enable children to glue, paint, explore lego, etc. Your children were/are very fortunate because both you & Dad have given them lots of experiences in art, music, volunteering, and just being spontaneous and silly/fun/funny sometimes ! We are all definately more than our public education and preparation for / or employment…yet for sure, our creativety, confidence, and care for others is also brought into the future of our children & enriches the lives of others, too !
    (p.s. i rembember the time I came to visit, and the little ones were creating a “fort” in the living-room with blankets draped over the couch & table…they were, I’m sure, creating their own special fantasy land…with just a few objects…singing & chatting =– I was impressed with both parents & children ! )


    • Miss Mitra says:

      Thank you for the feedback Elaine! And also a big thank you for all of the many times you have given arts and craft supplies to the children and encouraged them to just be themselves!


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