Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Self expression & children

From a comment posted earlier ...
>>I love that you encourage him to just do whatever he wants to do...

Well, we don't encourage him to do quite anything. (grin)

When it comes to creativity, then yes, pretty much the sky is the limit for permission. He's on a soccer team for a few weeks. (sports are creative, too.) If he wants to go skating again this Winter, I'll be happy to take him. Art? yes! Music? yes! Sculpture? sure! Writing the Great American Novel? why not!

The expression of himself is critical to the development of his Self. I enjoy seeing what he creates. It gives me the opportunity to see the world through his eyes. What kind of story does he tell? That story shouldn’t be limited to one created in words.

Some people are handicapped by their language ability. They can't use the written or spoken language effectively. This is especially true for children, who haven't had the opportunity to learn this skill.

Giving children additional outlets for self expression will give them an opportunity to communicate with the rest of the world. I only hope that the world bothers to listen.

Having learned a 2nd language, I have been confronted with the truly overwhelming bitterness of being incapable of saying something. The lack of vocabulary, the lack of colloquial use of those words, and then the sheer physical impediment of the brain suddenly going off line in both languages. I can hardly explain - in any language - how frustrating this is. I’ve been close to tears over this, and as an adult at least I know why. For a small child? It should be no wonder that they have melt-downs. They’re pushed to their intellectual limits - and beyond - on a daily basis. They don’t understand why this frustration is happening. “Sweetie, you’re engaged in language acquisition” isn’t really an effective explanation to a 5 year old.

I drew a mouse for Jr. Gopher #2, using his stuffed mouse as a model. Subsequently, he wanted me to keep drawing another mouse. He then started drawing his own mice. I don’t think I would ever have considered his art to be a mouse. It made him happy to be able to do something like mom. I think it also provides a sense of ownership, of a relationship with the creation. "That's my mouse!"

Below is our Wall of Art in our bedroom. Artwork is all the boys’ (except for the vapid-looking giraffe, courtesy of yours truly). Most of them are Jr.Gopher#1's butterflies.

1 comment:

ccyager said...

Amen. This is something my parents did NOT do. I'm amazed sometimes when I look back at my childhood by how creative I was in spite of my parents. My Grandma encouraged me before I went to school, and teachers encouraged me at school. But my parents did not. That is why I find this so wonderful!