Thursday, May 04, 2006

Creativity Stifled

Commuting to work this morning I witnessed a parent stifling his child’s creativity and it was disheartening.

The little girl, not more than 4 years old, was hopping - simply hopping on one leg. Passing time while she waited for the bus. She wanted to see how fast she could hop. She was also counting out loud to see how many times she could hop before she lost her balance and fell over. She was giggling and being silly. She did this six or seven times and was enjoying herself. Her father suddenly corrected her. He tried to teach her that if she slowed down she wouldn’t lose her balance. Well of course that’s true but he was really doing was indirectly telling her she was doing it wrong. Is there a ‘right way’ to hop?

I wanted to scream, “pay attention to your child, she’s having fun losing her balance! Play her game – don’t instill your adult rules!” No worries, I didn’t scream but the little girl did. She wailed. I felt so bad for her. She couldn’t articulate why she was so upset. Her father completely didn’t understand. Her tear streaked face and sad eyes told the whole story she was devistated. I hope she’s brave enough to hop again in the future.

It's a shame that we have to grow up and lose a little of that creative imagination that we all had when we were little. When was the last time that you hopped? Or skipped? Or did something childlike? It's never too late maybe you should.