I had a talk with Sweet Potato about creativity today. She had turned in a hurried essay on the Holocaust. You could tell it was done in a rush and was done for "doings sake" not for achieving merit in school. I'm really struggling on how to foster creativity in this "entertain me" child.
I asked her what did creativity mean to her? At first all she would say was "I don't know." I pointed out there was no right or wrong answer to the question. I just wanted to know what did she think when I said creativity. After a few moments she said all in a rush "Drawing and stuff like that, and I'm not a good drawer." The answer was exactly what I suspected it would be. How often do we get caught up in the thought that creativity is only regulated to the muses, the arts, and never to applied to work or relationships?
To me creativity is in all walks of life. The cook who makes substitutes to the recipe and it tastes better, the manager who figures out who is best suited to each task and has a smooth running department. The janitor who figures out an efficient way to clean the floors and happily hums as he works. The child who piles all of the pillows under the blankets and declares a dinosaur is sleeping.
We delved deep into this idea that creativity is not just art but for example; her pursuit of Star Wars videos via apps on her iPod is creative. I think she got it because she said "Wait creative writing I have a book called creative writing, so writing is creative too! You know Mom it was that other school - my teacher that told me to only be creative in drawing." I'm sure this statement taken in context would totally make sense :-) but I'm not sure I like her interpretation of it at this time.
Fostering creativity in this child has always been a struggle for me. When I try to teach her the skills needed to excel at a task where she can be creative, she just wants to learn the rote way. When given tasks that need problem solving she sits and waits for it to be solved for her. Sadly she did learn "If I wait long enough someone will come and fix it." mentality in special education. *sigh*
My current prayer is to foster creativity and problem solving in her, how I do not know. I'll keep casting my net out and trying new ways till the spaghetti sticks to the wall. :-)