Adventures in Attachment Parenting: Parenting Creatively by Allison Silver

It’s October which means not only is fall in the air and Halloween is just a few short weeks away but it’s also Attachment Parenting International Month. This year the theme is “Parenting Creatively.” This idea of parenting creatively is based on the notion that all of us are creative in our own special way. As parents it is up to us to help foster our child’s sense of creativity and not squash it, which is easier said then done some days.

Parenting creatively can mean different things for different people. For one family it could mean providing natural open ended toys for their child. Another family could interpret it as using creative discipline, and still a third family could view it as encouraging signs of creativity by exposing children to different activities or classes. But for me, parenting creatively, makes me think about myself and how am I modeling creativity?

I am one of those people who has never quite thought of myself as creative. I can’t draw to save my life, I can barely sew a button back on, and my play- doh sculptures are typically snakes or balls. My husband on the other hand is quite gifted artistically. I really marvel at his ability to think of something and make it come to life on paper with pencil or ink. As a teenager I was drawn to the performing arts and I did a lot of children’s theater and some plays in high school so perhaps that was my creative outlet. But as an adult and mother I don’t have time to pursue community theater. I mean who does? However, I do want to model creativity for my child. Which brings up the question, how does one model creativity for their child in a hectic world?

This idea of creativity has been on my mind for awhile. So this semester Charley and I have started attending a parent/child class at our local Waldorf school. In our parent/tot class while the children play the adults work on handicrafts. You are probably thinking,”That’s nice but who has time for handicrafts?” The beauty of this class is that we work on the projects while we are there in the class. Right now I am making a felt doll for Charley. I am pretty pleased with myself. In fact what I’m learning, is that I can be creative but I tend to lack the confidence to do so. I think my inability or resistance to do “crafty” things comes from a fear that I will mess up. In fact in the beginning, I was a bit afraid that if my doll didn’t look “good enough” the other moms’ might laugh at me! How sad is that? I don’t want my child to develop this fear. I want her to create freely and not worry what others will think. I am quite happy that I get to model mommy learning new things for my daughter during our parent/tot class. But I also want to make sure that she isn’t afraid to try new things.

In our fast paced day to day lives, I think creativity sometimes takes a backseat. My husband would tell you that I am very creative in the kitchen. But how much of that is necessity versus creativity? I mean we have to eat! This summer I did take an interest in making cake pops but as of now my creative streak has peaked at dipping them in chocolate and adding sprinkles! But perhaps by the end of this semester my new sense of confidence will propel me a bit further into the cake pop decorating arena.

As a parent how do you foster creativity? Do you model creativity for your child? If so, how?

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