There were a number of stories in the news recently that although different, connect in the ways they address children and creativity.
Creativity on whose terms
For an assignment on persuasive speech, 15-year-old Jessica Barba created an anti-bullying YouTube video and Facebook page about a fictitious 12-year-old girl who commits suicide after being bullied at school. Her assignment was done so well, the Longwood High School Principal suspended her for five days. Her father, Michael Barba was very proud of her creativity. The assignment was, after all a persuasive speech.
No texting while parenting
Two words might be the secret to building a relationship with your children – pay attention. As simple as that sounds, you might notice parents paying less attention to their children on the playground, in the grocery store and in restaurants.
I was at a farm stand when a dad and his son came in. A farm stand is an incredible opportunity to talk to children about cultures, food, colors, weights and measuring, smells and senses and the great things you can make together. Instead, the little boy took out a hand-held game and the father was on his cell phone. The loss here was a creative moment and great connection with each other.
Tablets on tables?
Have you noticed that kids are growing up with poor social skills? Here comes yet another way to hinder their development. Restaurants are putting tablets on dining tables to help guests choose their selections, get their check faster and calculate tips. They noticed that people are reading on their phones anyway. But the tablets will also give parents a way to entertain the kids so the adults can talk.
Nothing to do
The answer to the question ‘there’s nothing to do’ was answered; monthly deliveries of packages with things to do for kids, for a meager price upwards of $150 per year.
As far as I know, creativity doesn’t come in a kit and boredom is a good thing, but no one gets that anymore.
We are having a creativity crisis in this country. If you look at the situations above, only Michael Barba (dad in the first story) believed in his daughter and supported her creativity. Too many parents are missing the moments in relationship building and encouraging creativity in us and our children.
That means less stuff, paying attention more and having time to daydream and play; best done outdoors.
Tina Nocera, Founder