Encouraging creativity

“Comparison is the thief of joy”

If you have a table of children crafting side by side, one of two things is likely to happen. Either they will inspire each other or it falls to bits, with one child slipping from their chair and declaring they “can’t do it”.

Cue crumpled up paper falling to floor.

It can all change in a split second. One moment they are chattering. Encouraging each other. Next pencils are downed. A glance at the work next to them, may be all it takes. The power of comparison is tangible.

Not an unfamiliar event for the youngest of the family. Sigh.

Being a youngest child, I can empathise with my last born. Somehow you forget that older siblings have several years more practise. Even then, everyone’s journey is different. The older ones probably chose and lead the project. With less years under your belt, you also probably don’t fully appreciate that we are all individuals and have our own style.

It can be tough.

This summer, I’ve set up a few art and craft projects that give him a chance to succeed. No right or wrong. No comparisons. Working on his own style.

He’s had the clock movement for a couple of years, but couldn’t settle on a clock face. We found a basic wooden one in Hobby Craft. He loves street art and comic style. I suggested keeping it simple would keep it on the wall for longer. He pointed out that he could always change it later. I like his way of thinking.

So he went for splatter paint. Boy, did he have fun. Our front path was speckled with colourful paints for days after he finished. Is he happy with the results? You bet he is. He did his own thing and succeeded. His clock will hang on his bedroom wall for all to admire, and the ticks of the second hand will be a constant reminder to be himself.

Am I happy? Yes. The project was finished. That on its own is a major success. He’s pleased to display it too. Not a crumpled paper moment. My heart sings. For one moment at least, I’m riding the parenting wave.

(Cue Beach Boy sound track, and sunset)




10 thoughts on “Encouraging creativity

  • Monday 20 August, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    That clock does look like a lot of fun to decorate….Well done your boy.
    It would go well in my teens room. She has a graffiti theme. #MMBC

    • Friday 24 August, 2018 at 10:51 pm

      I think he might add a bit more graffiti bits to go with it. Thanks Kim 🙂

  • Tuesday 21 August, 2018 at 9:23 am

    Your description of being the youngest child really rang true to me. Only one older sister, but she could always do things better. I was quite pleased to have a boy and girl, with different interests, as I think there were less comparisons. The clock is great.

    • Friday 24 August, 2018 at 10:52 pm

      So easy to judge ourselves, even when it’s not a level playing field.

  • Friday 24 August, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    I totally get the comparison quote. I find that my artistic creations bring out my inner critic too which can be very harsh even for first attempts.#mmbc

    • Friday 24 August, 2018 at 10:52 pm

      We certainly can be our own worse critics. Be kind to yourself.

  • Sunday 26 August, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    That’s wonderful!
    I am totally with you on the comparison quote. We can be so harsh on ourselves at times. But your little dude should be so proud of his masterpiece. I would definitely buy something like this for my boys’ rooms. 🙂

    Thanks so much for sharing with #MMBC. x

    • Friday 7 September, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      He had so much fun making it. Thank you.

    • Friday 7 September, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      Thank you

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