"The environment in a family should be conducive to the commencement of natural creativity, as natural as breathing, eating, and sleeping. A balanced, creative person can come forth, developing and branching out in a wide number of areas, if some amounts of imagination and care are used. The first requirement is dignity of attitude toward the family. This dignity involves accepting the seriousness and excitement of having your own home be a very specific creativity centre." WHAT IS A FAMILY? Edith Schaeffer. p58.
Unfortunately since the time of writing this book, it has become common that parents now work at, even labour at getting their children to eat and sleep. Thankfully breathing is still something that children do "naturally", spontaneously and instinctively, so Edith uses this example to send us a message to relax, because developing your child's creativity is to be as innate as breathing.
She goes on to explain 2 things ~
1. Creativity Happens in an Atmosphere of Trust.
Your child, and all members of your family will be creatively inspired if there is "two-way communication, which involves listening as well as talking, and taking an interest in the other person's thoughts and ideas." This awareness encourages the timid, small beginnings of an adult as well as a child.
For both young and old, creative ideas often don't work out. A "shift in direction" or diversion is needed to prevent the whole creative process being killed. It can be as simple as a good cup of tea under an autumn tree, or a picnic morning tea at the beach. The anxious pressure of the failure needs to be replaced with a time of happiness in a trusted atmosphere.
"Soon a new idea will come tumbling out from the child's lips, if he or she knows the failure won't be rubbed in or laughed about.
An atmosphere of trust brings forth a sharing of ideas and an attempt to make things, with an expectation that the most wonderful thing is just about to come forth. This atmosphere comes if the basic attitude is one which takes mistakes and fresh attempts as quite expected." p60.
"Creativity needs the availability of reaching the attention of a sympathetic friend at just the right moment.... The spark must meet another spark, or the fire dies out and dark discouragement can flood in." p61,62.
So availability is essential for a "spark" to be shared. A listening ear. Even a university student troubled with his essay, or the shy but excited song writer, needs the supportive listening ear in an atmosphere of trust.
2. Creativity Happens When There is an Example of Adult Creativity Within the Family.
Father, mother, all members of the family are to be doing something creative. The development of creativity is not to be focused on children alone. Everyone eats, everyone sleeps, everyone breathes, so everyone in the family does creative things.
My husband works to improve his skill playing the piano, my mother worked at creating beautiful patchwork quilts, my first mother-in-law worked at lace making and gold thread embroidery, my second mother-in-law cooked, knitted and made beautiful tapestries, my father built rock steps and walls. They all did their thing around me, inspiring me to have a go at what intrigued me. Creativity is infectious and children quickly find their own creative ideas to work at.
"Simple gestures of thoughtfulness bring forth natural and spontaneous creative acts on the part of little human beings growing up where these things are a part of everyday life - the norm." p63.
Creativity being everyday, normal, simple and used to express love, concern, reminding others in the family that they are thought about.
Not reducing creativity to be done in "the perfectly protected place for each individual's work." It being "done with each other as well as for each other." p65.
THISWEEKWITHTHEKIDS ~ Well where do you start if there is no creative pursuits happening in your family? Have a look around for a person, a relative, a family who is creative and go watch them. Spend time in the company of creative people and wait for creative ideas to stir, remembering that creativity is not something that is taught or engineered, it is something that comes from within each person and is to be as natural as breathing.