Squashing the genius within

It would have never crossed my mind to go gather “supplies” from around my house and get creative with them. I never stole momma’s yarn, screwdriver, clothespins and t.p. rolls and ran off into the back yard to act like MacGyver. I don’t really know what would have happened but I’m pretty certain it would have been a bad bad thing. For the longest time my mom and I had separate crayon boxes and coloring books. I wouldn’t dare touch her stuff. I still won’t. Not without explicit permission and sometimes supervision.

As I got older, I started noticing how the kids in school getting awards and accolades were raised in environments that allowed for creative inventing and experimenting. Testing, trying, pushing, creating, risking, succeeding and failing. I was jealous. There was and still is a part of me that thinks of how much “more” I could have been if I had been allowed to explore my world that way.  I know now that there is more to a person’s creativity and success than just living in a more free environment. There are people all over that had nothing to explore or creating with and they still grew to be amazing people.

It is a misconception in my head. Mix it with my regret over all the things I could have done had I been more this or more that and you end up with a mom heck bent on making sure her kids feel free to be, to explore, to create, to test and to dream.

It’s killing me.

They sneak “supplies” out of the house and it gets broken or lost. I can’t tell their clean clothes from the dirty clothes because they dump the hampers to make boats or pulleys or offices. Clotheslines with knots in them strung up in dangerous fashion. Furniture being pulled together, concoctions of various shampoos and lotions in the bathroom, collections of trash to be recycled into some new contraption and towers of dishes (that come crashing down) from emptying the dishwasher because putting them away just wouldn’t be fun if you didn’t balance the coffee mugs 5 high in a leaning tower while walking across a kitchen chair bridge to the cabinet.

I’m tired. They don’t put anything back and they have no concept or concern for respecting other people’s property.

**I made an effort to teach the ‘everything is God’s’ lesson but sadly, it just made their argument stronger…. I can’t say you took MY stuff if it’s all God’s. As an adult I get it, but when arguing with my little geniuses my head wanted to explode**

I don’t want to squash their ideas or hinder their natural learning process but most of this is just wasteful messes. They are illogical and while I should be able to turn it into a lesson I seem to be completely incapable of explaining to them WHY it was a bad idea.

Do you let your kids experiment and explore independently? Do you let them have access to tools and rope and craft supplies and such or do you specify when and how things will get used?

I have spent two days undoing the damage they have done when I could have been, and should have been doing my regular chores. Now it’s all backed up again. Doodlebug just informed me their clothes were put away.

Except for Taderbug’s. Hers were in a pile on the floor where her basket is supposed to be because she’s using her basket as a desk.

3 thoughts on “Squashing the genius within

  1. Heather says:

    I know exactly how you feel. My 8 year old is the King of making contraptions, mixing inappropriate concoctions, & using objects in completely ridiculous ways. I always try & tell myself to let my kiddos be free to be themselves, but come on, enough is enough! It’s only going to get worse- he’s done with school in 3 days. Lord help me;) Hang in there. If it’s any consolation, you always remind me that I am not alone in my insanity & I REALLY appreciate it!

  2. Laurie Harley says:

    I just spent two days cleaning the girls’ room. (This does not include the time spent cleaning the play room.) But this had nothing to do with their creativity. I let them use any and all crafting supplies – if their school and chores are done. I try to set limits, in that items must be returned or they will not have access next time. It doesn’t always work, but my kids are pretty good about returning stuff after i yell at them. Lol! Their messy room is just ’cause they’re messy kids. I was NEVER like them. Haha. Although, i don’t recall my mother EVER cleaning my room.

  3. aplaceforthoughts says:

    Well, with all of their creativity, I can’t imagine what they’ll do on vacation! I try to let my little guy be as creative as possible (but he is still pretty little) and hope that when both of mine are old enough to be explorers that I am able to give them a nurturing environment where they feel able to explore and dream along with the responsibility of helping to put away all their creations at the end of the day. Time will tell though. 😉

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