The Art of Sabotaging Nature by Nurturing


How does a parent-educator like me butcher a child’s creativity?


Pokemon Cartoon Drawing by my 5th grader

Creativity is not confined to traditional forms of artwork like visual arts and music. Words come alive in the characters invented by the vivid imagination of writers. 

Teaching the fundamentals of writing like structure and grammar, is easy compared to helping my children find their unique voices through words. My dilemma as a parent-educator is how to help my students improve their writing skills without changing their voices into mine. It took a while before I fully understood that if I were to allow my children discover their individual writing style, I would need to take on the role of the person being led, versus the one leading. 

My nurturing, even with the best of intentions, could sabotage my children’s creative minds. Hence, I need to train myself to step back and just bear witness to my kids’ wondrous creativity at play. Believe me, this process of stepping back hurts, especially when the need to nurture is high; but it has to be done. 

Below is a poem written by my oldest son when he was 10 years-old. 




You run in the middle of the night, slowly stopping.

You look behind you.


You feel something brush by you.

Your heart stops with fear.

Tip-Tap. Tip-Tap.


Trees stare at you with a hollow gaze.

Phantoms appear dancing, mocking you, beckoning you to come closer.

You see ghouls chanting in the moonlight, their empty skulls glare at you with an evil grin.

You fall to the ground hoping for earth’s love, but none was given.


You scream as the pale rider of the night swoops in to grab you.

Your scream is cut short as his pale skin touches yours, as pain shoots in your body.

You now realize that fear has won.




More about Creativity:

In a symposium hosted by TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), Amy Tan, author of insightful books such as The Joy Luck Club and Saving Fish from Drowning, delivered a fascinating and challenging speech about creativity. Instead of writing a synopsis of what she talked about, I urge you to watch and listen. This clip is downloaded from TED’s website. 




Finding Your Voice in Writing:

Writing Styles:

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