I think we have a mythology around creativity that is very destructive. We tend to believe that only a few people are genuinely creative, that they are born knowing they are creative and that they go through life with that creative spark undimmed.
We need a new mythology around creativity, one that says we are all creative, we all have a divine spark within us, we all have the capacity to tap into our originality, and we all have gifts whether we recognize them or not.
I think that when we say we're bored, what we're doing is actually a manipulation. We are saying, "Fix it for me." If you resist the impulse to meddle and instead say to your child, "I'm sure you can figure out what you want to do next," then it imparts to the child a belief in their own resiliency and their own originality.
If you suggest that together you spend an hour without any screens, and you put your own phone aside and don't go near your computer, then you find yourself coming up with new ideas.
In my book, The Artist's Way for Parents, I gave the example of an editor who felt he had no time to read his favorite classics, because he was so busy being a parent. He loved reading, so I suggested he read for 15 minutes a day. He said he didn't have 15 minutes, so I asked him to just try.
He tried reading a book that he loved, Moby Dick, and his son noticed he was reading and asked him about it. They began to have a conversation about the book. About a week later, he found his son sitting in his reading chair with a book. When the father asked about the book, the son said, "Oh, Dad, it's another book about a whale: Pinocchio!"
Children learn from what they see us doing. They learn when they see us valuing ourselves.
When can you set aside 15 minutes of today for something you love to do? What is something that both you and your child enjoy doing?
(Editor's note: This is an excerpt from an interview with the author; read the original article in its entirety here.)