Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Creative Minds Need Tender Care

I think one of the worst things a grown-up can do is shame a child. 

I remember in grade 2 the class was asked by Teacher to colour a tree. It was autumn, and I had loads of fun choosing crayons with vibrant, joyful fall colours for my tree. I soon got into trouble for not following directions, though. I didn't hear, Teacher wanted the leaves green. I was so hurt that she didn't like my beautiful tree. Well, that's how my 7-year-old self saw it, anyway.

Don't embarrass your kid.

This was the beginning of shame-based criticism that nearly stamped out the spark of natural-born creativity in me. From then on, I learned to do exactly what Teacher wanted; the very same thing that every other student did. Sometimes, I still struggle against this early censoring even as an adult.

Think before you speak.

It's important when guiding a child, to be careful not to squash her creativity, or sense of accomplishment, or pride in doing. Think about the way you word things before you say them because you never know how deeply your words will affect a kid. 

Think about whether your expectations are reasonable or not, too. Don’t expect your kid's first stitches to be perfectly smooth, or flat, or even to be placed exactly on the dots you have so carefully drawn for her to follow. It's perfectly okay if they aren't. As a matter of fact I think it's grand!

Those first uneven stitches are charming.

Happy stitching!


  1. oh I had such similar experiences as a child! Only recently have I understood that I can be an artist. I think when we were children it was the trend to want all children to make the same art. Looking forward to the tutorial & enjoying your blog very much

  2. I had a similar thing too but with maths. I was made to look a fool in front of the class by the teacher. Needless to say I had zero confidence in maths from that day on! Some teachers are just awful.

    On the arty side of things, I am very lucky to have had creative parents that were very encouraging and always reminded me not to listen to anyone who attempted to squash my creativity.

    Great post Sue!

  3. Ellyn, I'm sorry you can relate! And happy to hear that you eventually outgrew it :-)

    Hi, Holly! So nice to see you here. Yup, what that teacher did to you is exactly what I'm talking about. Thank heavens your parents were wonderful!


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