As an English teacher, I love to give my students the opportunity to create. I usually like to do this through writing and with writing in which they can write about themselves and what they want. In some ways this is frowned upon because they should be modeling their writing after a particular well known writer or analyzing something. But I still like to squeeze in my own thing where I give them leeway and opportunity to create and write how and what they want. When I read their stuff there are many things I learn that saddens me and gives me hope, but that's all for another post. But the thing I thought about instead was how a love and appreciation for the arts is sometimes lost today. The simplicity of creating our own thing is sometimes not appreciated. When our children are four and five and starting school, they stress creative play through art, but as they move through school, less focus is on the arts and more is on the business of education. Basic academics does have its value; I'm not arguing that, but what I'm sad to see is how the arts have become undervalued. I really feel that creative expression can be such a natural therapy and medicine to healing and moving forward.
Writing has always been a creative outlet for me. I think sewing was the creative outlet for my mother. Photography is a creative outlet for my husband. I know women who when stressed, baking is their creative outlet. I look at my daughter and sometimes I think singing, dancing, and that theatrical type stuff is her creative outlet. I look at my youngest daughter and think I hope she finds her creative outlet soon because she needs one!
I feel that things like writing, photography, art, music, theater, or any of those arts where we create something, is so good for our soul. I’ve had a very blessed life from the family I was born into to the wonderful family of my own I have now, but I’ve still had moments of struggle, uncertainity, sadness, and I’ve needed that art, that feeling of creating that would help sooth my soul and help me move forward. I work with kids that have incredible struggles, have been dealt awful cards, and they so desperately need the outlet of the arts. In most cases an art is a hobby, a passion for something that interest them, but teaching them to love something like the arts should be part of a valued education. I think an appreciation for the arts is on its way back in with the new education reform, but I know some would like to say an interest in the arts is a waste of time. I’m not saying to encourage or foster a love for the arts for our children because we think they're all going to be world famous singers, actresses, dancers, photographers, and writers, but because it helps us heal sometimes and move forward. And it makes us happy and isn't that what we all want for our children?
I feel that my oldest daughter has found her art. My youngest my husband worries is emotionally disturbed because she’s a typical two year old that throws fits, gets tires and screams and cries. Even though she does seem much more emotional than her sister, I think he’s worrying for nothing. But I do hope she finds a creative way to express herself and work through her emotions though because she’s a little like her mama and I think she’ll find creative expression can be a natural remedy in our crazy world. I've just found it to be such a valuable coping skill as a child and as an adult that now as a parent it's something I hope to nurture in my own children.
What's your creative outlet? Do you see one in your children yet?
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