Monday, January 14, 2013

Creative Child

Having a creative kid is hard. And before you tell me that all kids are creative (they are), here's a list of what Boo is currently working on, so you can understand what I'm talking about:

  • writing a novel
  • knitting a scarf for a friend
  • editing at least one (and possibly up to three) newspapers at recess
  • learning to draw bunnies (that look like bunnies)
  • planning and organizing to move rooms and redecorate
And that's just the stuff she's working on in her own time. I'm not counting school assignments, art class, Junior Choir or anything else she's been told to do by adults. Boo is not creative like other kids are creative. She's creative like people who need to create things because that's who they are. Because that's who she is.

Boo fits all the stereotypes of the Creative. She gets an idea and takes off, obsessively, oblivious to everything else in the world. Her project becomes the most important thing in her eyes, and she honestly doesn't understand why we interrupt her work for insignificant things like eating or school. Right now, she's sitting near me, working on her novel.

So when Boo talks back to me, as all 9-year-olds talk back to their mothers, I picture her becoming Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock or Catherine Zeta-Jones in America's Sweetheart.  I see the stress in her when she needs help because her idea isn't coming out of her head the way it is supposed to (usually because of a tool failure and not, as it is with me, because she actually can't do what she thinks she can do.) On the one hand, I want to help--seeing your child in a desperate state is painful. But there's a fine line between nurturing the genius and spoiling the child.

So I'm trying to figure out how to help her strike that balance--to nurture her ideas and make time to express them while still making sure she takes care of her body and her other responsibilities. It's one reason I dislike homework. For a kid who's spending all her free time working on projects, homework just gets in her way. And she doesn't need it--she's constantly working on her spelling as she reads and writes. She works on organization and responsibility as she plans her projects. She's developing her leadership skills on the newspaper, and learning about seeing things through with all the projects, because they won't get completed if she gives up.

I feel like this is all really important to her development.

But she still can't talk to me in that tone of voice.

No comments:

Post a Comment