Creativity and Parenting

01/02/2017 creative conversations logo

In honor of the new year, I have three creative mamas sharing how they integrate creativity into their parenting on the blog today! I’ve seen these mamas in parenting action, and admire each of them greatly. They provide some golden insights such as inviting unstructured play time and boredom to encourage personal creative inclinations, letting go of the “Pinterest” pressures of creative parenting projects, and honoring how our family history and culture have influenced our creative parenting style. A topic that is also addressed is the value of a father’s role in creative parenting. For some, it is the father who elicits the unstructured creative space and for others he may bring the balance of structure and organization. Turns out there is no one right way to incorporate creativity into our family life, but I hope you enjoy the insights provided from this creative conversation!

Amber Thrane, photographer and stylist of Dulcet Creative

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“So many people tell me that they aren’t the ‘creative type’ or that they just ‘aren’t creative’ and it always makes me so happy to tell them: ‘EXCEPT YOU ARE!’ You see, creativity is defined as ‘the use of the imagination or original ideas.’ That means creativity is just simply taking a look at the unique thoughts, feelings, views and ideas that are already inside of you and sharing them with the world in your own way. Creativity is just the pieces of you that make you: ‘YOU.’

My personal creativity stems from my unrequited curious nature. My curiosity has gotten me into a little trouble in life but it’s also gotten me to expand my potential in countless ways. As a result, I try to incorporate this into my parenting by encouraging my kids to be curious about everything: their emotions and personal insights, their ideas and the entire world around them. One exercise I use to develop their curiosity is by actually allowing my kids to get bored! By embracing a little bit of unstructured down time, I allow them to engage with themselves and the world. I allow them to imagine and invent and create and explore their inner and outer worlds, which is the beginning of creativity. Granted, I help them brainstorm possible activities, but I let them figure out how to enjoy and manage their own time. It’s interesting to see how each kid chooses to spend their time and it allows us parents to nurture those interests, natural inclinations and curiosities as well!” -Amber

Bianca Wickers, the heart and hands behind kid’s brand Bink and Boo

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I don’t know that I ‘incorporate’ creativity into parenting as much as I am forced to get creative when it comes to parenting and the time I spend with my kids.  I am terrible at sitting down with my kids and creating something with them.  It’s more common for me to be working on a project or a deadline, with the kiddos by my side working on their own thing. If we’re not working all together at the kitchen table, they are usually down in my studio with me.  I have learned that my 4 y/o daughter is handy with my fabric scraps and scissors, and can create some impressive clothes for her dolls. I let her loose with a handful of scraps, scissors, and tape, and she will keep herself busy for a couple hours. I keep notebooks and markers in the studio for my 7 y/o son. He loves to draw and create storyboards for various video games.  He doesn’t have a gaming system, and is only allowed 30 minutes of Minecraft a week.  His drawings pick up where his game time left off. He creates these colorful worlds that he would have built or played if he had been given more game time.  I have saved almost all of them, and plan to put a book together, and gift it to him when he’s older.  I believe my kids and myself are all accidental creatives.  We’ve kind of stumbled upon our talents.  We are a family of make-doers.

I wish I was more organized as a mother to help facilitate {planned} creative projects with my kids, but I am not that mom. I am learning to accept this, and be ok with it.  For instance, this year I have been more focused on letting my kids assist me with projects when possible, and help with the creative process. My son put together a couple of ankle biter collections for me earlier this year–he had full creative control, meaning, he chose all the fabrics himself. I was shocked to see how on trend he was, and how well he recognized what would best represent the bink & boo brand.  I released his collections earlier this year, and they sold out in minutes.  I want to encourage their creativity, and strengthen their understanding of business and brand development, while boosting their self confidence.  My husband and I are total opposites, and they get so much technical skill, and understanding of discipline and dedication to your ‘job/work’ from my husband.  We balance each other’s parenting strengths.” -Bianca

Jacquelyn Kazas, event designer of Beijos Events

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“Being creative with my children is something I always dreamed of and love experiencing now. Growing up my parents both instilled a sense of creativity and a desire to explore. I was lucky to be born into a family of immigrants who had a true appreciation for our culture. We traveled often and were involved in many activities celebrating our heritage. My parents also had my sister and I involved in different creative classes like dance, choir, theater and more. When I went to college I was really blessed to have parents who supported my love for the creative when I majored in Theater Arts.

Now that I am a mother of two, and a working mom I realize how difficult it is to juggle it all and still offer my kids as much as I can. My husband is the ultimate creative, a talented musician who can play multiple instruments. He is constantly playing the piano or guitar and bringing music into our home. We want our kid’s to have a creative atmosphere that they can have fun and experience but also grow in.

One way I implement creativity in our every day life is by encouraging them to explore where they are naturally drawn. For example, my son Court loves to pretend. He loves to dress up as a different character every day. Some days he gets dressed up as Batman, some as a Pirate, or a Tiger, you name it! I encourage him to be himself and play as that character. It’s one of the things I really love about him, he isn’t afraid to play and let his imagination run wild.

My sons are only 2 and a half and 4 months old so I know we have many years ahead of us to be creative together. Many years to play outside, dance, sing, imagine and explore. I’m excited to see where my boys are drawn and who they will be and encourage their creativity along the way.” -Jacquelyn

Thank you Amber, Bianca, and Jacquelyn! I would love to continue this conversation in the comments section below!

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