Let your children blossom

Published: February 2, 2012
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It seems unless a child is perfection personified, the society or even parents won’t accept him or her.

It’s funny that creativity is such a sought-after trait in today’s world but when we have it in our hands, playing in our backyards digging up the entire garden, getting Cs in math but making exquisite art pieces, or creating magical stories about old trees, we have absolutely no idea what to do with it.

Worst yet, we fail to recognise it, nurture this difference, celebrate the genius. By reprimanding it, questioning it, assimilating it into the ordinary — we do the ultimate injustice — we steal someone’s talent or gift and intentionally kill it. What I’m talking about is a creative or gifted child.

These days, the fictionalisation of certain learning disorders, like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and dyslexia have glamourised them in such a way that the smallest difference in a child makes teachers and parents’ box children into these categories in real life. Whether the child runs away from school, has an inability to socialise, or finds difficulty learning a language or a certain subject, anything that sets the child apart from others has become a cause for concern. If he talks too much, it’s alarming, if he talks less, that’s a problem, it seems unless the child is perfection personified, the society or even our parents won’t accept him or her. It’s so hard to realise that maybe, just maybe, the child is perfect with all of his or her imperfections and may very well be a Picasso, Einstein, or Steve Jobs in the making.

So how can a loving parent recognise a creative, gifted child from being one that is wayward? By first realising that almost all children are born creative. It is the way they are nurtured, combined with their natural talents and mental abilities that either bring out their creativity or hide it.

You’ll find it interesting that a lot of symptoms of ADHD are similar to the traits of creative children. For instance, they have excessive amounts of energy, they get bored easily and have a short attention span, resist authority, have preferred ways of learning, and cannot sit still.

Even if creative kids aren’t misdiagnosed, certain things parents do are sure to get rid of any creativity residing in them by constantly keeping an eye on them, evaluating their performance against grades, restricting choice in activities to pursue, and scheduling their entire days.

Saba Khalid

Saba Khalid

A blogger for Rolling Stone magazine, a contributor to Kulturaustauch and Musikexpres, Saba is an Institute for Foreign Affairs (IFA) Cross Culture scholar for the year 2012 who also teaches creative writing to young aspiring writers. She blogs at www.thecityalive.com and can be found on instagram as @thecityalive

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Poppa Po

    I think I have a creative child on my hands, he tends to get on my nerves at times but I just hope I wont kill his creativityRecommend

  • http://www.khatrihina.wordpress.com Hina

    I so totally agree to what you have said. And I must say that I am one of those lucky ones who were given the chance to do what they felt passionate about; either it be painting or creating characters. When one is allowed to pursue his/her dreams, it provides the person confidence!Recommend