Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Boosting Your Child's Creativity, One Deprivation at a Time

Sometimes we feel like we want to provide more for our children. More experiences, really.  Not more toys. They definitely have enough toys.

Too many toys.

More like music lessons, maybe a vacation.  You know, stuff like that.  Experiences. Things that will stay with them and shape them. I'm sure every parent has this feeling at some point or another.

But something happened recently that made me rethink this.

So, we are doing that thing where you clean out the pantry.  Using everything that we have before we go grocery shopping. Scraping the bottom of the barrel, as it were.

And I'm noticing that creativity is happening. In the absence of excess, we're forced to think.  We have to imagine new combinations of food, and perhaps become a little more open minded in what we eat.

We've also moved the majority of the toys to the basement (we really need to do some sort of toy purging soon), and so last night when my wife was playing blocks with Caroline and Emily, she noticed that they played really well and creatively with just the blocks and few little matchbox cars that were in the box bin.

It seems that our brains may respond well to the challenge of making something out of nothing. Which makes me think that maybe it's the same thing with our lives. Suppose, if we lack something, it works to our advantage in the long run. Perhaps we have to imagine more, or maybe it helps us to strive toward something, or it's possible it's just good for us to not be indulged.

Really, it's relationships that will really enrich our lives, and will make us feel more fulfilled and enlivened than any vacation would.

Sisters, and Friends

I guess my answer to the question of how to boost your child's creativity would be to increase the amount of deprivation in your child's life.  See what your child can do when all the excess is stripped away.  See what great things could be accomplished by making something... out of nothing.


  1. Very good point - can definitely eradicate parents' guilt of the BIG vacation every year.

    1. BIG vacation? We don't have any vacation.