Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Maintaining a playful attitude in life

A parenting class Tyce and I took while attending BYU's Education Week, was by Andrew S. Brimhall, called "The Power of Play."  Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”  Many artists have quoted similar beliefs, expressing that we are all born with creativity, and we are "educated," or grown out of, as we age.

A great resource that was mentioned was a website (found here) where lectures from Ken Robinson can be accessed.  Robinson speaks about a child's creativity, stating "if you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original."  Robinson believes this is one of the major problems with adult creativity - they have experienced embarrassment or feeling like a "failure," and so they stop their unique flow of creativity, in fear of being "wrong."

Especially in today's competitive society where children are enrolled in music, swimming, and gymnastic classes at an extremely young age, the time to find their own motivation for creativity is smothered (most times, to death).  When we over-organize our child's time, in Stuart Brown's words, "we may be depriving them of access to an inner motivation for an activity that will later blossom into a motive force for life."

The message that really hit us was to do what a child would want to do - think about how fun it would be to play, rather than "the mess."  This would not only enable our children to be more creative, it would also allow us to enjoy the messy, curious, exciting part of life again.  Easier said than done, perhaps, but I think it helped motivate us to bring more art into our home and create opportunities where Lincoln has time to play and create whatever it is he wants!


  1. Great info Jen, I loved this post. I have witnessed both sides of this with 2 different nieces and can agree 100% with what you wrote. It is so important to allow a child to find themselves and be creative. Creativity doesn't always mean you have to be an artist, creativity leads to success in so many different aspects of life.
    Have you read Peter Pan? If not, you should. It is one of my favorite books, and quite different than the Disney version of Peter Pan. It talks all about finding the inner child and not letting that go as an adult.
    Anyway, great post Jen!

  2. Dresden is right, it is a great post. I remember reading somewhere years ago, of a write for the LA Times. He had gone to visit his brother in Colorado and the brother's house overlooked a huge canyon and a highway. One day as he stood on the deck, he watched a large bird, eagle or falcon, flying lazily along and then after a period of time the bird would fly back closer to the house and do it again. The writer finally realized that the bird was flying so that his shadow was on a single car as it drove on the road below. When it got to a certain point, the bird would fly back and 'shadow' the next car. The man said that he had a startling revelation...this was the first time, in years and years, that he discovered something on his own without it being fed to him through an article, a book, the internet. He said that realization changed his life. He wanted to learn things on his own without being told what was happening.
    In a way, that is what you want with Lincoln. Letting him discover all of the things that appeal to him. Such fun to come!
    Mom PS---sorry so long..I've just always loved that story