Parenting is a lot of things- it is an ongoing process; it is a thankless job; it is a chore at times; a pleasure at most; it is also a rigorous daily exercise that we cannot avoid or escape. The past few weeks, when the world is in the grip of a global pandemic and children are all home, parenting has a new dimension added to it- of being creative as well.
Creative parenting is the need of the hour, where you cannot depend on friends, grandparents, and school to engage your child.
So what is the main difference between a normal parent and a creative parent?
A normal parent is dependent on specific purpose materials like toys, games and craft kits to engage the child.
A creative parent can use any and all objects at home to contribute to child’s development. A simple example of this is involving the child with cooking, cleaning, gardening which can be exciting for a child who is suddenly given the jobs he has only seen an adult do so far.
A normal parent would give regular books and toys.
A creative parent will look for sensorial experience in everything. An example of this is water. Water is a very sensorial rich material; children should be allowed to have water play.
A normal parent would end up saying “this is the game. Go play or this is the art. Can you do it?” a creative parent would instead say “let’s do it.” you have to be the role model for your child where you work with the child. The idea that a parent is willing to come down to their level and work inspires new impetus for the children to think creatively.
A normal parent is always expecting the child to understand their point of view.
“You have to wait for mom to finish this call.”
A creative parent is always observing the child, understands the child’s perspective and addresses all situations accordingly.
“I know you are waiting for me. I will come to you as soon as I am done with my call. Would you mind setting things up until I can join you?”
A normal parent corrects a child when they commit a mistake.
A creative parent will look within for what may have gone wrong in your communication and analyse if the mistake is not a mistake and more of a learning experience.
Creative parenting is all about looking at who you are as a parent, understanding the limitations around you and always placing the needs of the child first. But more importantly, it is your willingness to spend a little more time and tweak some routines to engage your child.
In the words of dr. Maria montessori “imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.”