When my son was six, he wouldn’t use descriptive language like my daughter who devoured books and words faster than most children. My son liked to describe everything with a zip or a zoom. He’d riddle his sentences with a series of sounds that could sometimes be mistaken for heavy fire in a battle or little beeping noises á la R2-D2.
I didn’t think he would someday write incredibly descriptive stories and ask me to buy him the latest Steven King novel, but it happened in the last few years. He also asked to take art classes because he wanted to audition for an incredibly difficult art magnet school.
Before this, he had been obsessed with soccer and wanted to become an engineer. Then, he started reading more books and little by little changed his focus. It was a surprising but welcome change.
Is your child a musician or a writer or likes creating with Legos?
I think it was hidden inside him, waiting to find its way into his mind and break out into the world through his words and drawings. He had liked drawing cartoonish images inspired by The Simpsons and Stan Lee, but he never showed an interest in becoming a better artist.
I believe there’s an artist hidden inside every child. Maybe that child doesn’t paint or draw. Maybe the child’s a musician or a writer. Perhaps the child draws images with his mind’s eye on a popcorn ceiling or loves creating with Legos.
Right now, we should encourage children to explore what’s hidden in their minds. It will help distract them from the tendency to become anxious during such a difficult time for all of us. It will also give them the chance to discover new interests as well as enhance any talents that they’ve had to push to the side because of long school days.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money.
My son’s school didn’t have art classes during the time that he needed to create a portfolio, and I didn’t have a lot of money to spend. I found a school, The Learning Tree of Arts, that is now giving virtual classes. These are the teachers who helped him get in to one of the highest ranked magnet schools in the country.
Their first class is free, so you really have nothing to lose by taking a class.
My son’s art skills changed drastically in less than a year.
He went from this:
If your child seems more interested in dance than drawing, then turn on the music and dance together. There are also a lot of virtual dance classes available.
If you want your children to learn more about music or dance, there are tons of free resources out there to at least expose them to it. Lil’ Maestros offers free guitar and piano classes, plus a whole lot more.
Just playing different types of music in the house can offer children the kind of mental stimulation that keeps their minds healthy and creative.
My daughter took about fifteen piano lessons but when her teacher Julissa Ricart left Miami and moved back up North to pursue her career, my daughter had learned enough to teach herself new songs.
On days when my daughter plays piano, our house vibrates with happiness. She even asks for requests sometimes and if she doesn’t know how to play the song, she’ll look it up on YouTube then teach herself the song.
These kinds of creative outlets soothe all of us, especially now, when we need more love and kindness in our small worlds.