My daughter likes to make birthday cakes out of bubbles in the bathtub. She sings Happy Birthday and makes me blow out the ‘candles.’ 

Watching my daughter use her imagination amazes me. I didn’t teach her how to do it, she just KNOWS.

Essential to development, creativity helps fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, problem solving, and cognitive thinking. 

For these reasons creative pursuits are encouraged early in life but then dismissed later when adults stop hanging up our finger-paintings and start telling us to ‘get a real job.’

As a young girl my parents indulged my every creative whim; dance lessons, art, piano, oboe, acting, and more. From these classes I learned self-discipline, patience, and determination. I also learned to deal with critique and failure. I learned how to let things go, how to work around unexpected problems. How to make my intentions look deliberate.

Are these not all skills you need in any CEO?

When I wanted to study Studio Art at University my parents cringed. They encouraged (insisted) that I double major in English too. You know, so I would have something to ‘fall back on.’ I took the compromise and spent extra hours in the studio at night and brought art projects home so I could create between writing Shakespeare papers.
With graduation looming, dinner conversations in our home usually began with “What do you want to do with your life?” and usually ended with me in tears, stomping off to my room so I could take online personality and aptitude tests. I wanted someone to tell me what to be, even if that someone was the internet.

Careers today come with enormous pressure. In my parent’s generation a job was a means to an end, not an identity-entangled manifestation with which to define one’s whole life by. 

It goes without saying we want to spare our children pain, failure, criticism, and a living on canned tuna. Now that I’m a mother, I understand why my parents couldn’t see the romance in my becoming a starving artist. 

My interest in too many things, love of art and writing lends itself well to a career in blogging- but it wasn’t even invented yet when I graduated Uni.

If there is one thing I learned from my experience it’s that I will be conscious of supporting my children in their passions even if I don’t necessarily ‘get it.’ 

Let me be completely honest with you, if my daughter came home and told me she wanted to become a beauty pageant contestant or Jehovahs Witness I would cringe too (no offence to those who are) because I don’t understand it. 

After all, I’m not the driving force behind my daughter’s journey, I am merely the bumpers in her bowling lanes.Lavinia’s father is a passionate builder. They adore checking out building sites and building blocks together- there is totally a 50-50 chance she could be an analytical thinker like her Dad. Still, I can’t help my heart from swelling with pride when my daughter asks to ‘paint with Mommy.’

My husband asked me if I think our daughter genuinely shares our interests or if she is simply imitating us. I don’t know, but if I had to guess, I would say it’s a combination of both. We can only introduce her to the things we love, let her be witness to our passions and encourage her in her own discoveries.

No matter what she gravitates toward in her life I’m excited for her to find it….mistakes and all along the way. I’m positive that I will occasionally have to remind myself to stand back and let her to figure it out for herself.

This post originally appeared on the Hello Mamas blog and has been modified.

Author: dawnrieniets

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