September 19, 2017

What is Creativity?

What is creativity?
By definition it is: the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.

Being Creative or Creativity does not confine to:

Drawing
Art
Using Colours
Craft
Flowers 
and the like

A person could be creative in any thing, or rather, in every thing. A person could be creative in every act of his, in the way he gets off the bed, the way he brushes, the way he cleans his room, the way the kitchen/dining/living room is kept, the way he makes conversations, the way dust is wiped off the car and many other acts. 

If you could think of a hundred creative acts for an adult, I am sure, it would be more than a thousand creative acts that are possible for a child. Yes. A child could be creative in the way she uses her voice, the way she scribbles, the way she writes B in reverse order, the way she plays with her toys, the way she chooses her clothes. A child who builds sand castle is creating something with her own ideas. A child who wishes to go up the slide in contrast to coming down it, is creating a new way to play the routine game. A child who walks along the ledge is creating a way to balance himself as he walks. 
There sure is a reason behind every act of child if looked at from the right perspective. 

The child who walks on the ledge need not be seen as wasting one's time. The child who is going up the slide, need not be yelled at, to do it the right way(to only slide down and not go up). 

Giving more and more instructions to a child on how she has to play, how she has to talk to people, how she has to think in a certain instance, how she has to act, how she has to draw, how she has to paint will only help develop a child who is always willing to follow all the given instructions to reach the end result, not a child who is capable of thinking on his own, a child who has freedom to think and act on his own. 

A child should be given the freedom to act as per his/her choice. Make an effort to raise self-motivated individuals who are free thinkers and empowered individuals. 



Dear creative child

Dear Creative Child,

You scream in your maximum level of voice in an attempt to sing something. I did not stop you, but, said, such high voice was hurting my ears.

You sang songs with random sounds and words that you could think of. I did not stop you saying it was meaningless. Because, I believe, that something that seems to be senseless to one can make proper sense to another. Everything in the observable universe is relative. We cannot make absolute statements with our opinion. It might even happen that the song I sing to you could be senseless to you. Because, when seen from your perspective, you might not attribute meaning to the words nandalala or kaleeyamardhana or the like.

You wanted to wear three pony tails on your head. Upon my question, if you wanted two in the front and one at the back, you said, you wanted three - all in the front. Yes, perfectly fine. I did not stop you. I tied them so.
You were happy going to park as well as to school(in different instances) dressed so. Just because everyone around you wears two ponytails in a specific manner, it need not happen that you should also dress so.

You wore a large size beads mala(that is usually put on photo frame) for a walk downstairs. You liked it. I did not say no. You were pretending to be Hanuman. You were happy. I was happy that you could wear it without being afraid of what people around you would think.

You applied paint all over your face and wanted to go for a walk without cleaning up. I did not say no. You had a good time.Again, I was happy that you were not being afraid of what people around you would think.

You defined your own games with instructions(that were new to me) and I played as you said. We had a good time.

I like the fact that you create new sounds, new music, new games, new styles and wish to not pull you down in the name of society. I do not like comparing with what everyone around does. I do not use statements like, 'Oh! will there be anyone who dresses that way?', 'Oh! what will people think if you wear that?' etc.

Societal rules are created by a bunch of people who wish to think alike. It is okay to break the rules in order to continue being yourself. For, everyone is, for sure, unique, but not everyone follows their heart to be unique. Most people around are afraid of what the society thinks and how the society would react to our action. For you, I wish to keep all that at a safe distance. Because, creating new stuff is cool. Following rules need not always be cool.

All that I believe should be taken care of is, question like, is anyone hurt by my action?

There are times when children, a little older than you, did not make sense of the game you just described. Even your grandfather did not make sense of that game and denied to play with you unless you changed the method of play. Yes, in mutual play, you would have to respect the views of others. Likewise, your view also has to be respected. More than looking at what you wish to say, there were instances when people denied playing just because that game was already defined to be played in a specific manner. That is when, it takes an extra effort from your side to explain why you find the new method of playing interesting - go ahead and propose your idea. People may or may not like it, but, please do not stop creating new ways of play. There is no rule that, something that seems meaningful to one should be meaningful to all. Go ahead, take the plunge, create new things. When around people, respect all opinions.

I hope you will continue to create new music, new things, new styles without being afraid of what other people would think if you did so.

I know, sometimes, I  seem to be laughing at you singing songs with random sounds you make, but, I am internally proud of what you actually create. You are creating sound with one of your senses. You are making a rhythm. You are giving it a tune.

You are CREATING. And, creation is something that needs to be looked up to. Do not have a second thought. Being different is not weird. It is special. Continue CREATING and continue being AWESOME.

Love,
Amma

September 03, 2017

Hold back, don't push yourself to push your child.

How many times have you pushed your child to do something you wanted to be done at that moment?

How many times have you immediately started yelling at the child for not running towards the dining table just when you call out her name?

What if you had just held back, waited for a moment, ponder over what the child is doing and leave it up to the child to recall what it is that she has to do?

When you keep pushing yourself to always push your child towards doing what you want her to do, your mind is always filled with thoughts like - oh!, she just doesn't move to the table, She always leaves the tap open, let me remind her immediately(along with some yelling and shame words, not to forget).

And, the more you keep pushing your child to do something, the more uninterested the child becomes in doing that exact thing leading to more confusion and disconnection between you too.

Did you ever think like, what else could have been done? How else could I have dealt with it? How else could I have spoken to my child? Could I just wait for a moment and learn something from my child?

Your child just comes from outside and right after you step in the house you make a long statement asking her to leave her shoes, right after doing that, you ask her to go to freshen up. Even while she is walking towards the washroom, just because you interpret her slow walk to denial of your order, you again yell at her to 'just go to the washroom and clean her hands, legs'. If you had observed, even she might have been walking towards the same, just a little slower while taking joy in every step she makes and moving along the line leading towards to the washroom.

Do you find yourself singing the background song for every act that the child does?

Say, something slipped out of her hand, you say 'oh!it fell down. you can't hold things firmly etc.' even before she notices the thing on floor and attempts to pick it up.
She uses the washroom and you say ' don't do this, don't do that, wash your hands, wipe your hands, wear your pant' even without realising that, had the child been left for himself, he would do exactly all that you intend, only with a bit more pleasure in doing things.

You see your child picking up toys from floor and even before her tiny hands could reach all of them, you keep saying ' there, you see, pick it up. Here, don't forget, pick this up'.

Why? Why do we always want to push our children to do things? Why can't we leave them to choose what they wish to do? Empowering them with the necessary information should be sufficient. Why can't the children be left to make their decisions? Why do parents think that their child is not capable of thinking? Why do the parents want to prepare the entire day schedule for their child? Why shouldn't the child be left to drive her day all by her interest?

Remember, parenting does not mean the parent has authority over the child. In fact, children are much beyond capable than what the parents were and are right now. The child is growing into future generation that parent has not even envisioned and the child's thinking ability is being limited by the parent always pushing over trivial things around the house.

Next time you see your child immersed in something, give her time and freedom - the greatest gifts one can receive.


Learning by living

This was the scene in our home some days back(keeps happening too). 10 mins after both kids woke up, they had an argument and me...