Nurturing a Family Culture of Creativity
Welcome to Week One of the month-long Carnival of Creative Mothers to celebrate the launch of The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood
by Lucy H. Pearce.
Today’s topic is Nurturing a Culture of Creativity at Home. Do read to the end of the post for a full list of carnival participants.
Join the Carnival and be in with a chance to win a free e-copy of The Rainbow Way!
November 27th: Creative Heroines.
December 4th: Creative Inheritance.
December 11th: The Creative Process.
We have the chance for a second bite of the cherry of childhood. Being a parent gives us so many wonderful opportunities every day to connect with our own creativity again. It allows us to explore a huge variety of art forms that in the adult world we are cut off from because we are not “good enough” to indulge in them, which make the human spirit soar: singing, dancing, storytelling, improvisation, clowning, painting, sculpting, collage, playing percussion, dressing up, puppet shows, model making…the list is endless!
Our role as parents cultivating creativity, as I see it, is four-fold:
- First to provide a rich environment – not necessarily of expensive paints and costumes, but basic materials.
- Second, to step back and see how they intuitively choose to use them and join them in this.
- Third, to share ways that we know to use these materials, and share our skills with them.
- And fourth to model our own creative process to them – both by letting them see “behind the scenes” in our creative lives, to share how our creative process works, and allow them to see us fully absorbed in it.
Creating together is not just about today’s painting or model, but about setting the tone and feeling for your child’s experience of creativity for the rest of their lives. When we can see it as a privilege to engage creatively with our children, our time together becomes richer and more rewarding for us and them.
Nurturing a culture of creativity allows your child to regularly experience autotelic experiences (those which enable a flow state). Csikszentmihaly’s research into flow states found that: “early childhood influences are also very likely factors in determining whether a person will or will not easily experience flow.”
So in creating a culture of creativity, not only are you passing on valuable skills, confidence in their own creative ideas and abilities, but you are helping to wire their brains to more easily experience optimal experiences for the rest of their lives.
A culture of creativity honors and requires:
• Space for silence to bloom: for concentrated work, and contemplation.
• Space for sharing our voices, visions, experiences and dreams.
• Appreciation and enjoyment of the process, not judgment of works in progress.
• Courage and respect for trying new things. Being allowed to like them…or not.
• A need for responsibility.
• A time for mess!
• A respect of basic safety guidelines and rules.
• Prioritizing fun.
• Support for developing abilities.
• The understanding that creativity has an intrinsic value, beyond its extrinsic practical worth.
• Dreams, possibility and the fully-fledged imagination.
• Celebration – of big festivals and small mysteries, and knowing how to mourn the losses and failures too.
When we choose to nurture a culture of creativity, we commit to giving our children the support and appreciation necessary for the breathtaking unfolding of their unbounded intellectual, aesthetic, collaborative and imaginative capacities.
We show them that we are responsible for creating our own lives and that we can have a direct impact on every area of them. Our creativity can be used to create our living spaces, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the gifts we give to each other. But most of all we share directly with them that life is good, and that joy, celebration and beauty are to be nurtured and treasured – that life is not all work, hardship, suffering, nor should it be dominated by practicality and money-making.
Through nurturing creativity we give our children the practical and emotional skills to be productive, engaged authors of their own destinies.
and grab your free extras
(first 200 orders only!):
– exclusive access to a private Facebook group for creative mothers
– a vibrant greetings card and book-mark of one of the author’s paintings.
or order it from your local bookshop!
- Carnival host and author of The Rainbow Way, Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares an extract from the chapter Nurturing a Family Culture of Creativity.
- Lilly Higgins is a passionate food writer. Now a mother of two boys, she’s discovered a new calling: to instil in them a love of food and creativity in the kitchen.
- DeAnna L’am shares how visioning the New Year with your child is an invitation to be inspired: use creativity and resolutions to create a fun road map for the year ahead.
- Molly at Talk Birth on Releasing Our Butterflies – balancing motherhood with creativity.
- Laura shares some of the creativity happening at Nestled Under Rainbows and a few thoughts about creativity.
- Georgie at Visual Toast celebrates her own unique culture of creativity at home.
- Esther at Nurtureworkshop spreads the love of the ordinary, the delights of everyday things that can be an adventure of the imagination.
- For Dawn at The Barefoot Home creativity is always a free form expression to be shared by all in a supportive environment where anything can be an art material.
- Naomi at Poetic Aperture is a mother, artist and photographer who tries to keep her daughter away from the expensive pens and paints.
- Aimee at Creativeflutters writes about keeping your sanity and creativity intact with small kids in the house in her post: Mother + Creativity – They Must Coexist.
- Amelia at My Grandest Adventure embarks on a 30 Days of Creativity challenge…you can too!
- Becky at Raising Loveliness explores creating with her smaller family members.
- Jennifer at Let Your Soul Shine reveals how children help us connect to our souls, through music and movement.
- Mary at The Turquoise Paintbrush shares her experiences of creating with kids.
- Joanna at Musings of a Hostage Mother explains why creativity at home is important to her in her post “I nurture a creative culture.”
- It took until Amy at Mama Dynamite was pregnant aged 35 to discover her dormant creative streak – she has found lovely ways of tuning into it every since.
- Emily at The Nest explores how creativity runs through her family’s life together.
- Jennifer at OurMuddyBoots sees that encouraging creativity in children is as simple as appreciating them for who they are: it just means overriding everything we know!
- Lisa from Mama.ie has discovered that a combination of writing and traditional crafts can provide a creative outlet during those busy early years of new motherhood.
- Anna at Biromums shares what nurturing a culture of creativity means to her.
- Zoie at TouchstoneZ argues that the less they are interfered with, the more creative children become as they grow up.
- Darcel at The Mahogany Way celebrates creating with her kids.
- Sally (aka The Ginger Ninja) of The Ginger Chronicles is continually inspired by her own mum and grandmother.
- Just being creative is enough, says Nicki at Just Like Play, as she ponders her journey of nurturing a creative family.
- Allurynn shares her creative family’s musings in her post “Creativity… at the Heart of it” on Moonlight Muse.
- Laura at Authentic Parenting explores how being creative saves her sanity.
- Mama is Inspired talks about how she puts an emphasis on the handmade in her home, especially in the holiday season.
- Kirstin at Listen to the Squeak Inside shares with you several easy ways for busy mamas and dads to encourage their children to be creative every day.
- Mila at Art Play Day always lived in her dreams, sleepwalking through life … now she is finding out what creativity is all about…. her inner child!
- Sadhbh at Where Wishes Come From describes how picture books can nurture creativity in young children.
- On womansart blog this week – nurturing a creative culture at home.