Creativity is nurtured in our children when we ourselves are creative. Just handing them a craft kit and telling them to “have fun”, rarely works. When they are little they want to be on your lap using the exact tools you are using, making what you are making (likely a thing without pipe-cleaners). When they are older, they want to be a full part of the idea-forming process, which involves endless dialogue, and sometimes, an uncomfortable amount of accountability (“Did you work on your book today, Mom?”).
Our children are wired to desire invitation into the sanctuary of our expression and they will not rest until they have edged into the zone with us.
So here is the tension: to foster creativity and vision at home, we must purposefully engage in creativity ourselves; yet, when we flex our creative muscles, the young ones in our life tend to overrun our time or space or tools, and it feels easy to give up because there is often so little to show for our efforts.
This lack of progress is most stressful when there is something we have to do. However, when we are creating from a place of delight and not pressure, we can extend our joy to our children by including them. When we still ourselves enough to not be outcome-oriented, but presence-oriented, we create a space where art and life can play together.
Our progress might be slow, our process might feel stifled, but what is really happening underneath the chaos is pure magic.
Life: hands on, beautiful connection, new-creation abundance.
As we learn to weave little bits of projects and passions into our days, our children participate in our work for a while, and then, given the freedom, expand into their own projects and passions in time. They are learning that this is what life looks like: art, joy, delight, ideas, projects, purpose. What a gift to give our children!
If we hold off our own creativity until the children are grown, until the house is finally clean, or until our ducks are in a row, we risk our own stagnation – that feeling of living in and between ruts that just feel dry and stuck, and we risk locking them into a small reality dependant on daily grind stuff and entertainment.
Making art will make you feel uncomfortable and alive, and it will activate potential in your children that you never dreamed of.