As a child I delighted in all types of creative activities. My mother was an artist, jeweller and fashion designer. My father was a musician/ pianist. Like most children, I had a ton of energy and I've been told that I was quite the handful. I would dig through my mother's clothing and shoes and create my own fashion shows. My father would play the piano while I would sing. We even created songs together while stuck in traffic. I would dance all over the living room to Swan Lake. My mother and I made safety pin bracelets together when they were in style and I even started selling them at my elementary school.
Almost every one of my birthday parties involved some type of creative activity. One time my friends and I designed our own t-shirts. And for some reason or another, I even created my own store and tried to sell a bunch of my old toys to relatives when they visited for dinner one Thanksgiving. And although none of my relatives were interested in my old toys, nobody tried to stop me or close down my shop! I even learned a valuable lesson in business... If you want to make sales, there has to be a demand for what you are selling!
Throughout my childhood my parents allowed me to be as creative as I wanted to be. I could express myself the way I wanted to express myself at all times. I do not remember them ever trying to censor my creativity. Being creative and trying new creative activities was highly encouraged by my family members. I was allowed to take ballet classes, yoga classes, gymnastics classes... And thankfully, although a family doctor recommended placing me on ritalin for hyperactivity, my mother was not comfortable with doing that! Thank you mom! As she noticed, I only seemed to get real crazy on the chocolate ice cream! Sugar and caffeine is never a great choice for children! So the consumption of chocolate ice cream became a relatively limited treat for me.
I was an excellent student in school. I was a great speller and writer. I believe I owe this to my grandmother Cynthia who was an exceptional Scrabble player. My mother and I would visit her for dinner often and we would play scrabble after every meal. Scrabble was one of my grandmother's favorite games. She always won... until one day I started winning! Ha ha! I always seemed to get the lead role in school and camp plays. I was quite talented. I was selected to be in TAG ( the talented and gifted program) at my elementary school and I was also chosen to join the talented music and talented art programs.
Although I was raised Jewish, my parents allowed me to join a church choir. I also took piano lessons with the choir director. And when it was time to go to High School I was accepted into the prestigious LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts in Manhattan as a vocal major. My father had attended the same school as an instrumental major when it was two separate schools- Music and Art and Performing Arts. I attended business school after high school, graduated with honors and eventually started my own non-profit organization along with a reiki energy healing business, a spiritual poetry book and a blog. I'm also a singer, rapper, songwriter and actress! But I am not saying all of this just to toot my own horn! My point is that my childhood, which encompassed a great deal of creative support and freedom, is what helped develop and mold me into the amazing expressive creative being that I am today.
The children are our future. They arrive in this world as innocent beautiful creative beings that deserve to be nurtured in a positive way. Perhaps a screaming child is not optimal, but what if this screaming child is really trying to sing? One never knows. What if the child that is destroying the wall with markers is actually a brilliant artist in the making? Or a child that is found with scissors chopping up clothing may be the next huge fashion designer? A child banging on a piano may be the next Mozart? Who knows? Children may not always express themselves in a way that is ideal for adults, but it is important for parents to see beyond the noise or the mess. There could be hidden genius there! We need to be more open-minded, understanding, intuitive and aware of our children's needs and desires. We need to allow our children to develop their natural talents and abilities.... not stifle them! Creative activities also help children to develop self-esteem. This is vitally important to a child's development!
Unfortunately not all children get the opportunity to be allowed such creative freedoms. And in my opinion this is not the correct way to raise a child. Creative censorship is a form of child abuse. Children should be able to express themselves. Ofcourse there is a time and a place for self-expression and creativity. There should be rules and boundaries, however creativity should never be blatantly censored. If a child wants to sing, let them sing. If a child wants to dance, let them dance. If a child wants to play an instrument, let them play! No child should be told that they are not allowed to engage in such activities.
So please folks, think twice before censoring your children's creative activities. Understand that self-expression and creativity are essential to a child's development and growth and should be nurtured as much as possible. Be grateful for your creative children. Who knows?... You may be in the presence of a true creative genius! But you'll never know this for sure if you censor your child's creativity!
Jennie Haiman is a Reiki Master Energy Healer, Co-Founder of Self Saviorz Society California Non-Profit 501(c)(3), Poet, Author and Entertainer with goals to help raise the vibration and consciousness of humanity!