Being one of those creative types is not easy … trying to maneuver through life while managing all that internal intensity. It’s tough enough to manage as an adult, but do you remember what it was like as a kid?
All a kid knows is that there’s a fire inside and there might be an explosion soon! Sometimes the explosion comes before they notice the fire … Yikes! What was THAT?!
Coupled with their penchant for over-thinking, creatives will likely spend their entire lives battling insecurities, self-doubt and everyday life in general.
But God knows what to do … He’ll pick out the right parents to raise that kid for Him.
As the parent of one of these creatures, you have a great opportunity to start a creative kid down the right path by providing an atmosphere of safety and security, and teaching them good habits, routines and self-discipline.
All children need this, of course, but the creatives even more so, because they are thinking and pondering and feeling just a bit deeper, longer and more intensely than average human beings. Established habits and routines will keep their lives and relationships from careening into chaos and will actually enhance the flow of creativity. Even as I write it, it sounds ridiculous and extreme, but I know it’s true …
Most creatives balk at boundaries and structured routines … creativity will flow in wide-open freedom with no restraints, they reason. But after a few years of wide-open freedom and no restraints, creativity and productivity suffer. Friends and family get weary of the chaotic lifestyle. Things just don’t quite pan out like they had planned. And they don’t get it. And they’re right back at square one, starting over, being frustrated, blaming everyone and everything else for their misfortune … why do you think so many talented people have drug and alcohol problems and tragic endings?
So start early and be consistent, parents! What begins in childhood will last a lifetime.
Begin with knowing your own child’s leanings … are they more introverted or extroverted? Both tendencies have their unique challenges. Being all over the place can be just as crippling as being so shy you won’t move. Creatives need to develop and exercise their gifts and also be well-rounded in all areas of life.
The introverted ones need to be encouraged to come out into the real world regularly. All creatives need solitude, but some of introverts use that as an excuse to flat out hide from life.
Creativity in the shy ones blossoms when they internalize safety and security enough to come out of hiding. Being honest with ourselves and recognizing when we’re hiding forces us to face our insecurities and fears head on. No one ever overcame an enemy they wouldn’t acknowledge.
The extroverted types need to learn the value of self discipline and how important it is to settle down alone and quiet and get the work done, so they can then go share it with the world.
Creativity in the extroverted ones blossoms when all that enthusiasm gets reigned in with structured routines and self discipline. It’s fun to be out in the spotlight, displaying and discussing the latest masterpiece. But there might not be a masterpiece to display or discuss without regular, scheduled solitude and studio time.
Your particular kid is most likely a mix of some of these traits. They probably like to hide in their room a lot and like to show off! Creatives are strange creatures indeed! As their parent – lucky you! – you have the perfect opportunity to help them appreciate and grow in their giftings.
The best part of growing up for creatives (or anyone!) is when they finally understand how God put them together, and then learn how all that intensity inside helps them accomplish what they were created to do. When they finally embrace it, stop hiding it, and begin managing it wisely, all that creativity is set free … and the world is better for it!
So next week, let’s layout a plan and get started …