The author was talking about having a “creativity station” (I don’t think he used those words, but they have a nice ring, don’t you think?), where kids can put their creative juices to work, building and constructing beauty of all sorts. And then he talked about how, when we do turn on screens for entertainment, we should choose things that we find satisfying.
I thought it was interesting since sometimes we let that slip over here. We rarely turn on a television (although now we finally got remote controls that work so maybe that will change…), but my girls will watch some things on the family computer once in a while that drive me completely nutty even to listen to (I’m not a fan of laugh tracks:). And this made me think about helping them gravitate to more inspirational/educational things.
…Which description makes me sound like I’d like to look for something boring. Ha! But does that make sense? There are some awesome things to watch in this world of ours. Things that can help create discussions and thinking more outside of ourselves. I have kept track of a list of lots of them as people have suggested things over the years, and now that I’m sitting here writing this post the only ones I can find are these few:
The Good Lie
Queen of Katwe
On the Way to School
or even little things like Grit: the power of passion and perseverance
(Sure, you can’t have a toddler watch a TED talk and hope they gain anything from that, but my kids are all old enough to really grasp stuff like that.)
Ok, that’s not a very long list, and most of those may make teenagers roll their eyes at the thought, but my point is that there are lots of cool things to watch in this world of ours…and I’d love to help my children take advantage of that.
I also realized that Lucy was reading some pretty sub-par books. Sure, any time you can get a kid to read it’s a plus in my mine (Lucy is losing her love of reading and it makes me sad, but that’s an entirely different post). We started reading this:
(Suggested by a blog reader…thank you!)
And we are loving it. We read together at first because Lucy thought that it looked like the most boring book of the world, but we forced some time to read, with Claire too, and we’re loving that thing.
Anyway, lots of thoughts here, but just thought I’d share what’s been rolling around in my mind lately about “entertaining kids.”
I think it’s so easy in our day and age to just throw our hands up and go with the flow and ease of letting screens and sub-par programming infiltrate into the lives of our children. There is so much accessibility the good as well as to the mindless laugh-tracks, I’m just trying to veer more to things that bring on thinking….
When Lucy’s friend was over the other day we pulled out all the paints that have been gathering dust and those girls put their creative juices to work.
This chapter in the book (and specific section in the first picture on this post) stood out to me specifically because as much as I have ideas to pull out the arts and crafts, or read a good book together, I have often been guilty of letting life get in the way. Especially as my kids have grown older.
And it made me wonder:
Are my children just growing out of the creativity module of their childhood, or am I not nurturing it enough? OR, are screens and technology taking over? Are they taking over ME and making me quit trying to seek out the good entertainers?
When my children were little there was rarely a day we didn’t have paints pulled out or an evening when we weren’t huddled together reading a book, their fingers working magical creations in my hair as I read to them. We were together more, and we were much more creative.
Now, of course, a great deal of what has changed is that my children area older. They are going from school to sports to church activities and staying up to all hours of the night working on homework.
And when they are together, they are often coming up with games like this:
(who can airdrop the funniest picture)
But they can still have creative and uplifting entertainment! (I actually thought the airdrop thing was pretty creative…:)
Sure it’s messy. Sure it takes more work to figure things out and help kids gravitate to what will build more. But that work only draws my heart closer to my children.