How to raise creative kids

It's so simple. If you are a creative person—and I believe all humans are—let your children see you create. Let them see you sing, write, dance, draw, sew, sculpt, garden, build, imagine, cook, craft—whatever it is you like to do. You don't have to give 100 percent of yourself to your kids. If your kids grow up watching you put off your passions, or even your interests, slaves to their schedules and their interests, they'll end up doing the same. Martyrs will raise martyrs, in other words. 


I think if your children grow up witnessing you dive into your own projects some of the time, they'll learn the importance of creating and become creative themselves. What they'll learn from not only watching you but also having to entertain themselves while you work are lessons you can't teach any other way. While you write a chapter, paint a picture, or enjoy another activity, close your door and ask your kids to go find something to do on their own. And don't just turn on the TV. Let them be bored! I promise it'll be good for them. 


My earliest memory is of my mom doing something she loved: sewing. I remember sitting under a table and watching her feet as she pressed and released the pedal of the sewing machine. I don't remember what she was making, only that she was immersed in her own creative activity and that I wasn't to bother her. I was bored, but not upset that she wasn't available. I was left to my own amusement. It was during times like that when I learned to write stories, draw cartoon characters, direct plays starring my sisters, and so much more.


Today I have many interests—writing, reading, running, entrepreneur-ing, crafting, decorating, photographing—and it's taken me five years to realize how important it is for my kids to see me pursuing them. Bonus: taking time for myself and my own projects gives me the energy I need to be a great mom. I learned recently that no one person or thing should get 100 percent of my attention or devotion. It’s not heathy! I can't pour from an empty cup. 


Be curious, pursue your passions and your interests completely and without guilt, and I believe our kids will one day do the same.