We all wear many faces. There is the “us” that we show to our friends and the “us” that we bring out professionally (at work or at school, depending on your age). There is also the “us” we are in front of authority figures, strangers, and our family members. But there is also the “us” we see in the mirror. There is the way the world sees us and the way we see ourselves. That’s why taking Adobe’s Creative Type’s Test was such an eye opener.
Simply put, my ideas and values give me “the ability to see the spark of potential in everything and everyone, and to inspire others to see it, too.” While Rob’s inquisitive mind “makes the quest for knowledge and truth a lifelong pursuit.” Sounds pretty perfect for us.
But we were surprised about how our children saw themselves as creatives.
And thus, this blog began to take shape.
Both of our kids’ tests lead them to the same results: they see themselves as dreamers. And when you read through the description, it’s pretty accurate. They are emotional, intuitive, and have a vivid imagination. “The inner world [for our son: video game landscape; for our daughter: the world of books] is always where you’ve felt most at home. You’re happy to roam your mental landscape of thoughts, emotions, and fantasies for hours on end.” To read further in the description, my mommy heart leaps to read: “Your greatest gift is your depth of sensitivity and empathy, which allows you to give voice to universal human emotions in a way that touches people on a profound level.” And as I think about their Third Culture Kid experience, this may all go without saying.
So where am I going with all of this?
Well first off, I think you should take the Creativity Type test yourself. And then, I think you should embrace the variety of ways your children can show their creativity. And lastly, because it confirms our family ethos (and the view I’m really trying to get you to adopt), you need to empower your children (and probably yourself, if your honest) to create more, consume less.
Empowering Kids’ Creativity
School gets in the way of kids’ creativity, especially as they get in to older grades. Educators know that play-based, inquiry, and project-based learning is best for long-term learning and creative thinking. But local laws and parental pressures often augment best-practice. For those reasons, school can often be rigid, standardized, and include high-stakes testing.
I flip these ideas on their head by gifting my students with Genius Hour time–60 minutes a week to follow their passions. Through this project, I have noticed improvements in reading, writing, problem-solving, inquiry, and time management. And all of these areas of growth are independent of teacher intervention. Their growth is based solely on student agency.
…and it sticks!
So when it comes to supporting your children and their creativity, let them take the lead. Let them create. Let them explore. Let them do more than just play video games, help them learn how to make video games. Don’t give them the iPad and use a coloring app to fill in a template, give them the iPencil and let them create the pictures. Don’t just shut off YouTube at your house, encourage your child to make a YouTube video about something they are good at.
My husband and I live by the ethos: create more, consume less. We know this philosophy will help our children in the 4th Industrial Revolution. I empower you to bring this same doctrine into your own home.
For some tools that may help your children create more and consume less, here are some of my favorites: Adobe Illustrator, Minecraft, Scratch and Scratch Jr., Garage Band, YouTube Kids Creator Academy, Puppet Pals, Book Creator, and Lego Coding.