Growing up, my imagination was cultivated. It was encouraged no matter where the road traveled. And trust me it could travel some real interesting places.
As my children’s generation grew, I noticed that there were less and less opportunities for them to use their imaginations, and thus I grew concerned. No, I didn’t want them living in a fantasy world, however, I knew that my vivid imagination allowed for some unique problem solving solutions at times.
So, I began to look at ways to cultivate their imaginations in a world that was increasingly digital. Where the digital world imagined for them, I wanted them to imagine a world for themselves. So, I would shut down the land of digital entertainment and require that they played outside like children are supposed to do.
The product, is that I have a 17 year old artistic girl who is planning to go to school to do hair, and could do any visual arts program she wanted. She is that talented, and has never taken any type of professional art lessons. She just gets it.
I have a 15 year old daughter who sees the literary world as a place of beauty, and writes her own books. She is budding into an amazing author in her own right and is currently editing her first full book!
I have a 15 year old boy who take his amazing imagination and creates new inventions from it.
Imagination is a requirement. It is what drives us to be more, whatever that more might be, and if we allow things to do the imagining for us, we lose something of ourselves. We need to allow our children to explore their imaginations, of course within safe parameters. But, should the parameters be so stringent that they have lost all form of self expression? When we tell them what color their hair can be, what clothes they can wear? That is control, not love. No wonder we have a higher rate of rebellion in the twenty-something age range. The typical teenage rebellion is continuing on passed the normal age of freedom because the reigns of control are released and they can pierce random body parts, ink every inch of their body, and color their hair orange.
We need to give our children back the freedom of expression. That is part of what is wrong, because many of the “creepy” kids that I knew in high school who were expressing themselves outwardly by coloring their hair green became very successful adults. Actually, far more successful that the high school quarter back ever did at my school, and a few others I know about.
There is being safe, and there is being controlling to the point that we are creating our own problems. At what point have we crossed the line?