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Let's prioritize creativity, too

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Very rarely do I hear the term “creative” when it comes to the traits we wish to nurture in our children.

Responsible? Yes.

Kind? Absolutely!

Patient? We’ll take a double!

Resilient? Pile that stuff on.

Creative? If we have time, sure!

I don’t disagree with the importance of the other traits and I want those same things for my own children. However, I’m here to tell you that creativity is something else that we need to cultivate throughout our parenting journey. For me, it’s near the very top of the wish list!

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Whenever my children ask me why creativity matters so much, this is what I tell them….

Creativity will allow you to express yourself in various ways. Maybe you will discover writing as a powerful tool for conflict resolution or the dance floor as the best place to release anger and stress. Maybe you will find friendship with a paintbrush on the days you feel lonely or use photography as a way to capture life’s happiest moments. Whatever the emotion, creativity allows you to set your thoughts free!

Creativity will help you connect with all sorts of people. Sometimes collaborating with others can be a challenge and people might not respond well to your first or most natural approach to dialogue. But, if you’re creative, you can find a way to break through any wall and find the common ground on which to build a relationship. There’s no such thing as “nothing in common”, but there is such a thing as “lacks creativity”.

Creativity will allow you to see things from different perspectives. You will think twice before judging someone else. You will know that what comes easily for you might be more difficult for others. You will see three sides to every story and, in doing so, you will be more tolerant and accepting of others.

Creativity will allow you to solve problems, big and small. You’ll figure out how to adjust your budget in the face of unanticipated expenses. You’ll get out of a bathroom stall if you ever find yourself locked inside. And the frisbee won’t be stuck in the tree for too long. Creativity is the voice that pushes you to keep exploring when you think you’ve exhausted all other options.

Creativity will force you to question what you see. You will walk through a clothing store and wonder why certain things are declared “for boys”, while other things are declared “for girls”. You will think about the various ways to enter a building and find the ramp that makes it wheelchair accessible. You will wonder why people are protesting and, if you choose to join in, you’ll have the most clever sign of them all.

The benefits of creativity are endless...

Creativity will keep you occupied when a cancelled flight leaves you stranded at an airport.

Creativity will be your saviour when your newborn baby won’t stop crying in the night.

Creativity will be how you make dinner with an empty fridge.

Creativity is how you whip up a Halloween costume the night before trick-or-treating.

Whether you’re raising a child or not, I hope you can find an appreciation for the happiness and fulfillment that a life of creativity can bring. And, if you are a parent, I hope you begin to see value in this forgotten trait.

Responsible? Yes.

Kind? Absolutely!

Patient? We’ll take a double!

Resilient? Pile that stuff on.

Creative? Let’s prioritize that, too.

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