While reading about other Highly Sensitive Children in online forums and other blogs, I very often find moms and dads who talk about how creative their children are; how they love to draw and paint; how good they are with building blocks; how they can make incredible works of art out of almost nothing. And every time I read these wonderful stories of other kids, it made me observe mine all the more closely.
Our son was never especially good with his hands. I tried everything I could to spark his interest; I got him building blocks of all shapes and sizes, markers, crayons, paints, an easel, and loads of paper. We had stickers, glue, scissors, pipe cleaners, tape, and anything else a craft-lover could dream of. I was desperate to develop and nurture my son’s creativity by teaching him how to do all the stuff I thought creative kids were supposed to be doing.
But try as I might, all I could get was some incoherent scribbles and a lonely pile of untouched blocks. It kind of worried me that he never even want to try. All that stuff that I have loved since I was a child, he couldn’t care less about.
As he grew older, I started to see what other kids his age were doing. The little girls and their intricate doodles always left me amazed and hopeless at the same time. I was lucky if I could get a circle out of mine.
How can a child be highly sensitive, so in in tune with his world, and not be creative? I asked myself. Creativity, after all, does seem to be, one of the main characteristics of being highly sensitive.
“Highly sensitive individuals are those born with a tendency to notice more in their environment and deeply reflect on everything before acting. (…) As a result, sensitive people, both children and adults, tend to be empathic, smart, intuitive, creative, careful, and conscientious…” – Dr. Elaine Aron
Silly as it may have been, I wondered and worried that I may have gotten things wrong. Maybe I was missing something. Maybe I was doing something wrong. Maybe I wasn’t doing enough.
And then, out of no where and for no particular reason, this happened:
“Mom, do you want to hear a story?” “Yes, of course I do!” “Once upon a time, there was a tree. The tree was very sad because it was lonely. So the tree’s leaves started to fall. But then one day the tree met someone he liked very much. Then the tree was happy, and his leaves started to grow again.”
My son’s short story gave me goosebumps and left me in awe. But to say I was surprised that he had managed to come up with this beautiful story in seconds would be a lie.
I was amazed, but I wasn’t surprised. Ever since he was two, our son has been incredible with the use of his words. He could tell me he was sad or that he loved me before he learned to tell me what he wanted for lunch. His imagination was so wonderfully vivid, that he could turn a blanket into a submarine and go deep sea exploring for hours.
Our son was creative, and I’d known that all along. Sure he couldn’t draw or craft or build, but he could see things that I couldn’t. He could see beauty and magic in places that never even occurred to me.
Creativity comes in many different forms. It can appear in the form of a beautiful sculpture, a heart warming song, a delicious meal, or life changing medical research. There are no rules when it comes to what form creativity will take, and yet it is easy for us to jump to conclusions should our young children be incapable of creating something with a crayon or paintbrush or a building block.
Once again, I’d worried myself about something that wasn’t really there based on absolutely nothing. We are still working on those skills that need to be worked on, and we have come a long way: my son has been making amazing things with LEGOs and has started to show interest in drawing and painting while I have gotten way better at not losing it over nothing.
I am very proud of both of us.
Proudly posing with the LEGO car he built after having happily stood in line for over an hour to take part in this activity
What about your HSC? In what ways does your child show creativity? It would be very interesting to see how differently creativity can express itself in our children!
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