On a 13 on Thursday post, I created a list of 13 ways to build creativity in your children, and decided that it would make for a great series! So this is the 1st post, based on the first item on the list (not placing unnecessary limitations on your children)… next will be the 2nd item, and so on. Enjoy!
Recently I saw a post about a sustainable plastic wrap alternative, made from beeswax… cool huh? Having never run into this sort of product, I started reading the comments to see if anyone had used it/liked it (they had!)… but then I found a comment that stopped me in my tracks.
People were posting their non-traditional uses for this Bee’s Wrap, and one lady said that her 6 year old son (who has some kind of condition that affects his coordination) uses the wrap to stabilize his knife when he’s helping her cut vegetables for dinner.
Most of the responses were encouraging, but there was one lady who replied in horror that this woman would allow her son to use a knife, because children shouldn’t be in the kitchen helping at that age.
Stop right there. (Generalizations ahead, not applying to all persons… just a very, very, large number.)
Did you know that we have an entire generation that doesn’t know how to balance their own budget, because no one’s ever taught them to manage money?
We have a generation that doesn’t know how to cook, because they’ve grown up on pre-packaged, microwaved, or fast food.
We have a generation that doesn’t know how to make a bed, do laundry, or even hold a civil conversation.
We have adults, who are ill-prepared for being adults, to the point that books are being written to teach someone how to be an adult. And why? Because we’ve created a culture that enables this mentality. No one loses games…. everyone gets a trophy! Children can’t play in their backyard, without nasty neighbors calling social services to claim neglect. No one’s precious little angels are held accountable in school… blame the teachers! And it goes on and on.
Let’s travel back in time about 200 years…
Children had chores… and they didn’t even get an allowance. Shockingly, they were expected to do chores as a member of the family.
They collected eggs.
They milked cows (or goats).
They helped in the garden.
They sewed. (Psssst… they weren’t using “safety needles”)
Children as young as 6 were learning to knit, and those too young to knit were carding wool.
And you don’t even have to go back 200 years to see this… click here to see a picture of Shirley Temple knitting as a young girl… I have friends who have farms, and children still collect eggs, and milk cows, and such.
So you may be curious what this has to do with creativity…
This woman was shocked that someone would allow their less-able child to learn to cook, when she wouldn’t allow her fully-able children to help her in the kitchen. But that’s not a limitation of the child’s skill… it’s a limitation that she arbitrarily placed on them.
Can every child help at that age? No… Should they cook unsupervised at that age? No…
But is it true that no child can help at that age? Certainly not. The very best training happens at a young age, and it starts with attitude. Teach them that the worst boundaries they ever encounter, will be the ones they allow to be placed on them.
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