Being a creative person makes life a lot of fun. Rainy afternoons are never boring, parties are the absolute best to plan and you save money by making gifts for everyone. Having a really creative kid is a little but more challenging, though, because creativity usually manifests itself in slightly strange ways when you're little. Those eccentricities are endearing, but often attract comments from well-meaning friends and family that leave you shaking your head (especially when you've heard them for the seventeenth time). Yes, there are things parents of really creative kids are tired of hearing although, to be fair, some of them actually come from their kid, too.
All three of my kids have proven to be highly creative, and if there's one thing I've learned over time, it's that creativity can take many different forms and reveal itself in many different ways. My stepdaughter, who is now a teenager, has always been an incredible artist; everything she creates is superb. Yet she has never wanted to take an art class in her life. My 4-year-old daughter has been making up words and names for as long as she's been talking. My 2-year-old son replaces words in nursery rhymes with other words, to make entirely new songs.
None of these things sound strange, right? They aren't, inherently, but there are always other little moments when the creative spirit seizes your child, and those are the ones that inevitably attract attention. With that in mind, here are nine things parents of really creative children are tired of hearing:
"What's Your Kid Doing?"
That's a great question. Very often, I have no idea. Sometimes, when she's at the playground, she's creating a new world where sand and rocks are actually sentient beings. Other times, she's arranging the fridge magnets into "families." Sometimes I don't ask, I just watch what she comes up with. As long as she's happy and safe and stretching that creative mind of hers, I really don't need to know what she's doing.
"Mom, Can We Get More Paint? We Ran Out Again."
It feels like we run out of paint every month. I used to be so careful about the type of paint my daughter used, but when I realized how quickly she was going through it, it became a necessity to buy whatever I could find just to stay stocked up and ready for her next creative endeavor.
"Wow, Your Kid Is, Well, Unusual"
Creative kids dance to the beat of a different drum. I know, because I was one myself. The hardest thing about being a creative kid is that when you're little, being eccentric isn't considered a "good thing," necessarily. Kids want uniformity, so when someone sticks out they are more likely to be picked on. But really, all of those things that make my kid unique right now, are the things that will make them a more interesting adult and will assist them in discovering who their true, authentic self is. So yeah, my kid is unusual.
"You Should Definitely Put Them In Drama/Art/Any Other Class That's Considered Artsy"
I totally will! If my kid actually wants to. Which, you know, she might not.
"Can I Do A Craft?"
Crafts are fantastic for kids, but holy crap do they ever take a lot of work to set up, most days. I am not a Pinterest mom, although there are days I wish I was, especially when I'm only giving my daughter specific, relatively easy crafts to do, instead of egg carton crafts. Or pipe cleaner origami. Or whatever.
"This One's Definitely Going To Follow In Your Footsteps"
I get this a lot, having been an opera singer, a jewelry designer, and a writer. I also happen to be fairly broke, so I'm hoping my daughter becomes a brain surgeon (if I'm really being honest).
"Are Those Real Words?"
Nope, they're not. My daughter makes up a different language every day and I happen to think that's awesome. She knows how to use normal words (and has a pretty advanced grasp of them, actually), but she likes to experiment with different combinations of sounds. Maybe she'll be a linguist, one day.
"You Know Your Kid Isn't Really A Superhero/Unicorn/RubberBall, Right?"
Yes, I'm completely aware that they aren't what they're walking around claiming to be, currently. I will continue to indulge them, though, because it helps them think outside the box and allows them to see the world through a different perspective. That's never a bad thing, is it?
"That's A Future Artist, Right There"
As a professional creative myself, I wish I could make people understand that creativity doesn't just mean a career in the arts. Mathematicians are creative. Scientists are creative. Fostering creativity in children is an amazing way to prepare them for the large array of career choices, because at the core of creativity is the ability to think outside the box.