“In the art of parenting we all begin as amateurs. By the time we turn pro, it’s generally too late. Carol and I managed three out of the box: a filmmaker, a musician, and a painter. All are apparently flourishing. Here are some ideas we bumped into while getting lucky with creative kids:
“Show is always better than tell. Your kids already know your opinions. Kiss them regularly if they’ll let you. Be alert when they approach you with ideas. Encourage them to color outside the lines. Keep in touch. Let them know where you are. Let you and your spouse be sails, not anchors. Field trips are more valuable than classrooms. One of the best things you can say is “try it.” Non-judgmental curiosity beats seasoned guidance. When kids hang out in the studio, you pick up tips. Let the kids visit with weird friends and relatives. The development of imagination requires their privacy. Always have materials available. Try not to be stingy. Encourage enterprise. Let them make and sell lemonade. They understand if you travel during the drum-set stage. A kid’s opening sentences are not always topic sentences. If they don’t know what you think, they are likely to ask. From time to time be dull and stupid. The kids will rally. Before making suggestions, give it some thought. They have.
“PS: ‘Your children are not your children. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls. For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, even in your dreams. You are the bows from which your children, as living arrows, are sent forth.’ (Kahlil Gibran)”