Guilt Free Creativity
Doing it for the kids!
This week, we have escaped in our caravan for the school holidays. Apart from board games, bikes and the beach, it’s up to my kids to make their own fun. I’m taking a few moments to work on some beautiful hand-made products to be released in the CQB store very soon and I’m doing it guilt free – because I know that the act of engaging myself in creative tasks isn’t beneficial just for me, but for the kids too.
2 minute read
Parenting is hard work, and at times I find it suffocating. I spend the majority of my life trying to be the ideal parent and the most effective teacher I can be, but I’m a dreamer who is also constantly trying to keep up with the call of creativity. To allow myself to be in the healthiest state both mentally and emotionally, I need to ensure I make time for my personal projects, and I do it guilt free because I know that in doing so, I am instilling creative values in my children.
Researchers have long been promoting the benefits of developing creative capacity in children. The web is flooded with activities and projects that you can do with your child to help them become a divergent thinker, but few have considered the impact of the creative parent. Children certainly learn though engagement in activities, and that is the approach that schools are taking, but that’s not how I got here. I didn’t learn to ‘be creative’ at school, I got here because creativity was valued in our home.
Children are products of the environment they grow up in. I have been in the teaching game long enough to know that this is 100% true. Our parents are the first and most influential teachers we will ever have in our lives.
Meet our dad- This guy is pretty extraordinary. He literally has the fix to everything. When I was young, I watched as he fixed cars, motorcycles, electrical appliances and built houses. One day, after having tinkered with sailboats for as long as I can remember, he came up with a hair brained idea to build an 11 meter catamaran in our backyard. Sure enough, two years later he launched his hand crafted project. Thankfully, it didn’t sink. Dad spent many, many hours building, hours that he could have possibly spent with his family, but there was still always enough love for us kids. Whilst the tangible product of his creative pursuits was a beautiful boat that we later spent many hours as a family on, the positive effects were far wider reaching than he realises.
Dad building the boat in our backyard
While he was pouring his blood, sweat and tears into his big creative risk, us kids were watching. We were watching as the many planks of western red cedar were put together like a puzzle to form the boat, and we were watching when things didn’t always go as planned and Dad crankily persevered until he came up with a solution. This simple act of being a witness to someone being extraordinarily creative, provided me with the determination, grit and perseverance to see a tricky project through, and that constant desire to build/make something with my bare hands. All because I wanted to be like my mentor.
The finished boat – on the water!
By modelling creative and problem-solving behaviours, we can develop far greater creative values for our children than any activity can. You don’t need any special gifts or talents to do this. The simple act of decorating your home, rearranging furniture or tinkering with something that is broken are all activities that foster creative values in the home. Take interesting holidays, turn off the TV and let the kids experience boredom, so that they can invent their own games and be rewarded for it. Let them watch, and be inspired by the projects you are involved in.
That’s why this week on school holiday break, I’m not allowing myself to be bothered by the cries of boredom from my kids. I’m allowing them to find their own creativity, and to be witness to the creative values I’m busily instilling into their little lives- guilt free!
CATE’s TOP THREE TAKEAWAY’s
- Guilt free creativity – because I know that the act of engaging myself in creative tasks isn’t beneficial just for me, but for the kids too.
- As parents we are the first and most influential teachers of creativity in our children’s lives.
- By modelling creative and problem-solving behaviours, we can develop far greater creative values for our children than any activity can.
This simple act of being a witness to someone being extraordinarily creative, provided me with the determination, grit and perseverance to see a tricky project through, and that constant desire to build/make something with my bare hands.
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I’m Amanda, eldest of our trio of sisters, founder and Creative Director of Creative Queen Bees. Being creative and seeing creativity come alive in other people is what lights me up. My approach to life is to be curious, to ask how we can make meaning and purpose in our lives through the creative process. I work with people, both in life and business to harness the power of creativity for personal and business growth. With 20+ years working in the creative industries as an award winning designer, business owner, creativity facilitator and ‘side-hustle artist’, I specialise in creative thinking for brand, marketing and innovation. Combined with my creative life skills, I re- imagine what is possible.
I’m Belle, (affectionately known as Binny) I’m the second sister of our trio. After 22 previous years in aviation and tourism, I’ve decided it’s time to start living an authentic creative life. A life which I had always dreamed, and am now pursuing here with my sisters in Creative Queen Bees. I live on a rural property in the Hunter Valley and most days you can find me illustrating my Australian life, complete with ‘blue cows’, ‘mustard goats’ and ‘green wallabies’.
I’m Cate, the ‘can do’ girl and youngest in our creative trio. I wear the handy lady pants and there is not much I won’t try my hand at. Over the years I have learnt to balance thinking logically and creatively and recognise this as a strength in myself. I chose a career in primary school teaching where I can bring this strength to life. I love play and a lot of the time you will find me tinkering amongst my many projects where I wield a pretty wild hammer.
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