My youngest was in Kindergarten when he first started showing signs of creativity. He would imagine stories and then draw them because he wasn’t able to spell or write very well back then. He was assigned a poem for a book the Kindergarten class was publishing. He drew a picture of a ninja battle, complete with bloody swords and dead bodies. And, it was clearly a case of good versus bad with the good side winning. One of the moms got wind of this and called me, she didn’t think we should allow that picture to be published in the book because what would the other parents think. Then, she went on to counsel me on therapy and how well it worked for her son.
Along with my son’s Kindergarten teachers encouragement, we allowed that image to go into the book for all posterity. And you know what? Not another single parent even mentioned it. Well, not to me, at least.
He was never encouraged to pursue his creativity in any other school after he left Kindergarten. When he entered public school elementary, teachers would email or call me. Social workers got involved. Because hey, my son was drawing images of demons, zombies, ninjas. and good guys that were slaughtering them and saving the world from being taken by evil. Well, all except his first grade teacher who totally GOT him! She let it slide!!
Recently, he drew a picture of The Walking Dead during art class. He was so proud of how it turned out. It was a shame I never got to see it, the art teacher threw it out. I think I understand why the art teacher did that, he may have been protecting my son from getting into any sort of trouble. And, if I’m right, I appreciate that. But, I wish I could see that picture because my son told me he finally got Rick’s hair right and it was devastating to him that he didn’t get to keep it.
What I’m trying to lead up to is this. My son has an overactive, creative imagination. He world builds in his mind. He writes zombie stories and horror stories constantly, his notebooks are filled with them. This kid is a budding Stephen King whose light I’m trying not to let get extinguished due to rules and regulations because you just never know. This kid, he wants to be a lawyer and a writer. Oh, and an extreme fisherman. And he will be all of those!
The issue with overactive imaginations, especially in today’s world, is they can cause trouble. One of which is school, especially if the imagination doesn’t fit into those pigeonholes. And the overanalyzing because surely if the child is creating these violent stories then there is something wrong with the child. Um, no. The other is…within his own mind. Some of the characters he dreams up, they become real to him. And then he scares the crap out of himself at night because they are lurking in his closet and under his bed. I totally get it, I was that kid, once upon a time, too. Night time shadows scared the living daylights out of me because I was convinced that within the shadows lived a monster or something from another realm. My kid, he’s so like me that it’s CRAZY!!
Another issue with being a creative is that he senses he is a bit different from other kids. And it makes him insecure because he doesn’t feel like he fits in really. He feels like he thinks differently. He feels like he plays differently. To him, when he is doing role playing, he’s actually creating another story, a book that is yet to be written.
To me, he’s amazing. The way his mind works is incredible. The stories he tells, they are wise beyond his years.
The image I’ve posted. That is one of his characters he created. It’s name is Linch. And, he’s written a little poem to go along with Linch. I told my son I’d share it on my blog because I think this poem is awesome. It tells a story in a really creative way. I’m not sure how or where he came up with this creature but it actually has been giving him nightmares. He wrote this poem in hopes of purging Linch from his mind.
The poem goes a little something like this:
A monster I see every night.
A monster I hear every day.
A monster that doesn’t go away.
A monster that screams in the night
And it will give you a fright.
You won’t sleep for days.
It’s not a faze.
Linch won’t go away,
he is here to stay.
He lives under your bed.
He is undead.
When you’re by the stairs,
you will hear “Run!”.
It’s not even fun.
He gives you a scare.
He just doesn’t care.
Amber Kneibel says
Very thought provoking post! I don’t have children, but I can’t imagine how I would feel about someone stifling their creativity!
Shaun Hoobler says
That’s why it’s important to encourage creativity on our kids while they’re still young.
Shaun Hoobler´s last blog post ..game dev app
Exactly. And, if the schools won’t help out in that department then we have to double up at home!