Deep thoughts, School

“I’m not creative”

Good Thursday morning! Today is technically the kids’ school week Friday, since they don’t have school tomorrow for Good Friday. 

We got a gorgeous morning for our walk before school yesterday! We decided to lengthen it a little bit and walked through the park. 

On the school front, this week has been okay overall. I would rate it maybe a B. I had that crappy Monday, Tuesday was really good, and yesterday was just okay. So I think it averages out to about a B. 🙂 

As the kids are getting more comfortable with the Google classroom platform, I think I’m going to need to start stepping back a little bit. Initially, I was trying to be really involved with planning their days. We would go through the whole assignment list, and I was actually making them a daily list  on paper from that with exactly what they should do and in what order. Otherwise it seemed too overwhelming to me to keep everything straight. 

But Ethan especially is starting to resist that some. He seems to have a really good handle on navigating the various classrooms and knows what he needs to do. Yesterday I really started to feel that I need to just back off a little and let him take the reigns. 

For the actual assignments, I think this works fine- he can see, for example, that he needs to read 3 Social Studies pages, do two workbook pages online and then submit it. But there are quite a bit of ongoing activities to keep track of, things the teachers just want them doing like 10-20 minutes per day. (For example, a math program called Freckle, or spending some time reading articles on Scholastic News). Those are the types of things I am afraid he might gloss over if I don’t stay more involved. I am trying to figure out how to best monitor things without micromanaging him! 

Thoughts on self-perception:

Something else that I really got thinking about last night, randomly, was the idea of how we perceive ourselves. Asher really likes to draw, and has been creating these “fold out” images based on something he saw online. 

Unlike Asher, Ethan really dislikes drawing. In fact, he really doesn’t like anything art related at all. Asher likes to create things and I know we have often used the word “artistic” to describe him. We have never said that about Ethan…

I know we all have different strengths and interests. But I notice that Ethan seems to define himself already as “someone who is not good at art”. The more I think about it though, I do the exact same thing!

*I’m not creative
*I’m not good at math
*I’m not much of a leader
*I’m shy
*I can’t start a blog…why would anyone read it?
*I don’t know how to do (insert whatever seems overwhelming at the time)

These are all things I have said about myself repeatedly over the years. 

Why do we do this?? Maybe I’m not an “artist” in the traditional sense, but I AM creative! I am creating blog posts right now. I created a super fun story about my son last year from the vantage point of his hamster (the parents had to write a “brag” letter and I chose that format). I created a “magazine” article for my other son’s letter this year and made it look like Sports Illustrated- it turned out really cool. I have created unique Christmas gifts for my family. I have written beautiful, detailed trip reports about our family vacations. I CAN create things! 

These “beliefs” about ourselves are so hard to shake though! They seem so deep seeded that they just feel like TRUTHS. They aren’t though! I need to keep working on re-framing these in my own life and recognizing the falsehoods in them. I also need to be better about actively working on nipping these in the bud with my own boys, as much as we can, and helping them to push beyond these self imposed limits. 

Daily Gratitude:
I am grateful for my education. The social distancing and school closures have made me think about how grateful I am to have had a full education myself, as well as the ability to continue on to a college education. 

2 thoughts on ““I’m not creative””

  1. This is so interesting! I think about the impact of my own (and others) self-perception all the time, especially now with young children who are starting to show abilities and proclivities themselves. I wonder how much of "who we are" is who we were TOLD we are as children that's we've internalized. For an example you might appreciate, I remember as a child being told I was "uncoordinated", "clumsy", "bookish", "smart", "academic" – i.e. all things that are the opposite of athletic/sporty. As a child, teenager, and now as an adult I have shunned all types of traditional "athletic" activity. It may be true that I'm not a natural marathon runner (or whatever), but I have a perfectly good body capable of doing all kinds of hard things. So thinking of myself as "un-athletic" a) is not strictly true, and b) has been a disservice to myself as I may have missed out on a lot of fun things because I was afraid to try. This all seems even more important now that I'm a parent. I cringe when I hear someone (or myself!) describe one of my children as "musical" to the exclusion of another child, or use words like "shy", "clumsy", "cautious" etc to describe them – I think they're such loaded terms and, as you say, can lead to self-definition and self-limitation. Of course we all have natural preferences and abilities, so there's a balance there, but how often do we hold ourselves back because of our own (possibly inaccurate) preconceived notions?ps – I have always thought you're very creative. You're the funniest person I know, and humor requires a very sharp, very creative mind!


  2. Awww, thanks! I do remember you being described that way, especially the "uncoordinated" one. 😉 I'm sure no one MEANT any harm by it but yes, the long term effects can be very self-limiting. I know in Ethan's case he really just isn't into art and doesn't seem to enjoy it very much, but I still want him to keep an open mind about it and never be held back by some preconceived notion. I don't like the idea of putting ourselves (or our kids) in a box and labeling it! I know firsthand too how hard it is to overcome later. Maybe you need to buck the labels too…when the pandemic is over, maybe you should sign up for a rec sports league somewhere and give it a whirl! 🙂


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