Old Fashioned On Purpose

64. The Most Important Thing I've Taught My Kids

January 03, 2020
Old Fashioned On Purpose
64. The Most Important Thing I've Taught My Kids
Chapters
Old Fashioned On Purpose
64. The Most Important Thing I've Taught My Kids
Jan 03, 2020
Jill Winger

It seems that today that many kids lack one of the most important skills that leads to long term success in every area of life.  This of course is creativity.  It seems that creativity could be getting stifled by the evolution of technology.  As things become easier and easier to access at the push of a button, we’re filling our free time with mindless activities that don’t allow for precious boredom to set in.  Creativity essential to develop is because it teaches us how to solve problems, how to deal with failure, and how to overcome obstacles.  Listen today to find out how I’m personally developing my own creativity and how my kids are as well. 


• To begin this homesteading journey, head to http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/grow to access my full library of resources to guide you down the path.

Show Notes Transcript

It seems that today that many kids lack one of the most important skills that leads to long term success in every area of life.  This of course is creativity.  It seems that creativity could be getting stifled by the evolution of technology.  As things become easier and easier to access at the push of a button, we’re filling our free time with mindless activities that don’t allow for precious boredom to set in.  Creativity essential to develop is because it teaches us how to solve problems, how to deal with failure, and how to overcome obstacles.  Listen today to find out how I’m personally developing my own creativity and how my kids are as well. 


• To begin this homesteading journey, head to http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/grow to access my full library of resources to guide you down the path.

Speaker 1:
0:00
Welcome to the old fashioned on purpose podcast. So I've noticed something lacking in a good number of kids these days. Now, not all of them by any means, but a considerable amount and I'm not quite sure what prompted it or when it stopped becoming a normal part of the childhood experience. And what I'm talking about is the ability to create and I've noticed that it's disturbingly absence in a lot of kids these days. So I wanted to open up a discussion in today's episode I'll explain a little bit more why creation has played such an integral part of my life, how I am teaching my children to create and give you some practical ideas on how you can foster it in your home as well. I'm your host Jill winger and for the last 10 years I've been helping people just like you who feel uninspired by modern life.
Speaker 1:
1:05
I'll help you to create the life you really want by learning how to grow your own food and master old fashioned skills. I went back and forth on what to title this episode. And I realized that saying that this is the most important thing I've taught my kids, that's a bold claim. And I'm, I'm not gonna say that it's the only important thing I've taught my kids. Cause there's lots of different things. It depends on which category we're discussing, right? Learning how to get dressed is pretty important. And depending on your religious background, there's lots of pieces there as well. So anyway, just know that I'm not making this definitive claim, but I really feel like this is far more important than many of us realize as parents. And the more I broke down, this idea of creativity and the lack of it that I'm seeing in a lot of children, I kept being reminded or it kept being underscored to me how crucial creativity and the act of creation has been to my own successes and adults.
Speaker 1:
2:14
And also in some of the things that my kids are doing or creating in their own life, it's really been crucial to their development and seeing them really come into their own. So this is not meant to be a judgmental episode by any means. And I do realize there are many different types of humans and different situations and some of us are wired to be more artistic or more creative than others. And so this is not meant to force everyone to fit into the same box. They're just my observations and for my own experience. But after sitting with them for awhile, I really think that this is an important issue. We need to talk about more. So this was prompted by just being around some different kids lately, different groups of children. And I guess it took me a little bit off guard because I just always assumed that kids create naturally or they, they know how to play naturally.
Speaker 1:
3:14
And I think that in generations past, that was a fact. But I've noticed that kids these days and every time I see that kids these days, I feel like an old lady pounding her fist on the table. And I'm really not trying to come across like that, but there is a decided lack of children not only understanding how to play but also understanding how to create and build and it's really kind of been keeping me up at night honestly. Now I think there's a couple different, reasons behind this. I think part of it is the massive increase in technology use. Right? And I know, I mean, I'm raising my hand as a guilty party here as an adult. I know that my own technology use has hampered how I create. It has changed how I create now. I'm pretty good about keeping technology to a minimum with my kids, but I still struggle being on my phone too much.
Speaker 1:
4:12
I'll be honest and I've noticed that I really kinda like shook myself out of this stupor the last couple of months and I'm like, you know, Jill, all these little bits of free time when in the past I would be reading a book or trying any recipe or working on a craft project or building something. Oftentimes I just kind of like, eh, I'm just going to pull up my phone and scroll through an article that I wanted to read or waste time on social media. So the phone and technology, as much as I do love it, like I'm not anti-technology, obviously. I'm very involved in it for my businesses and recording a podcast with this little recorder guy and these wires and this microphone and I have a laptop on my lap. So I use technology, but it really has changed us as humans and children and how we're spending our free time.
Speaker 1:
5:02
So I think that's a big piece because we know that free time and boredom is the number one ingredient in inspiring creativity and humans of all ages. Right? But I think the other piece of the puzzle, the other factor is that kids aren't seeing adults create, so they're not seeing their parents or any other adults in their life commit time to the process of building or creating or crafting. And I think that's probably maybe even more of the issue with our kids than just the technology itself. Right? Most of the adults I know, or many of the adults I know, they don't really cook. They don't really craft and don't really build, don't really have hobbies. And when they do have some free time, they spend it on technology or TV. Now again, I'm not saying I don't ever watch a show. I don't ever spend time on my phone, but I've been very particular with myself lately to make sure that first and foremost I'm guarding any free time I have and allowing it to be used for creativity.
Speaker 1:
6:16
Right. And when I say creativity, I know I'm saying it a lot. I'm kind of wearing out the word, but I that can apply to so many different things. If you, if you are prone to writing, write, if you're prone to painting, paint. For me a big part of my creative processes in the kitchen, trying new recipes, experimenting, just kneading dough, just feeling the act of making something with my hands. Now, sometimes it's even, it is on the computer. It's for me sometimes creating a website or working on a graphic, it's very cathartic to me. It feeds that part of my artist soul and I love it and that that to me is different. Spending time on the laptop building something or creating something is different than spending time on the laptop watching random YouTube videos about cats. Right now Christian is the opposite.
Speaker 1:
7:07
He hates writing, he hates computer stuff. His type of creation is building in the shop so it may be working on his log splitter. We had a YouTube video on that awhile back or working on some updates in the barn or redoing an engine in a truck. That's how he creates, it's always mechanical and greasy and has lots of tools involved. But him and I are both, and we've talked about this a lot. We are both in our element and so much more content as adults when we have some sort of project or creation going on in the background of our everyday life and I, I just can't help but wonder how many of us in our modern culture are missing that piece. You know, we've worked so hard to have things be easy so we don't have to cook. We don't have to garden, we don't have to keep animals for food.
Speaker 1:
7:59
And we have buttons and apps and phones and all these things that make our life so convenience. But we've zapped a lot of the creative process right out of everything we do. And so when our children don't see us create and our children see us filling our spare time with TV shows or just, you know, waiting to go to the next event in town or you know, we have a spare for Saturday instead of building something, we go to shop, we go to buy and consume. How can they ever learn that thrill that comes with creation if they don't see us model it. Right? And I think when we don't teach that to our children, it's also really hampering their ability to play. And that's the other piece I see a lot of kids not only struggling with not knowing how to create or the value in creating, but also just not really understanding to immerse themselves and play.
Speaker 1:
8:58
And that goes hand in hand. So peanut butter and jelly with creation, right? Often it's the same thing. But a lot of kids are waiting not only just for tech time but they're waiting for an adult to tell them what to do, an adult to give them an activity, take them to something or have some sort of predetermined structure and how they're supposed to spend their time. And there is a time and place for that. Right? Mesa, my daughter's going to be starting piano lessons soon, I believe in structure, right? We get up at the same time every morning we do school, we have a structure that's important and I want her to learn different things and have different activities and have socialization and friends. But in my opinion, the most important things my kids do usually come in the afternoon when they're done with school and they're done with chores for awhile and they have a big block of time and they go play and create and they build things out of dirt and they build things out of paper.
Speaker 1:
9:57
Like the paper in our house. Sometimes I go crazy cause there's little scraps and shards of paper everywhere. But they are constantly cutting and pasting and coloring and gluing and then they have scrap lumber that they're nailing together, you know, to make a play house or to make boats or they're mounting a piles of snow. So that's is the most valuable part of their day in my opinion. Not when we're out doing lessons or doing socialization. That's fine. That's good. I've got to have both, but it's not the most important part. The most important part is when they're out there learning what makes them tick. Learning how to build, learning how to create, dealing with failure and continuing that process. That's when I see them really come alive. Creation in both children and adults leads to problem solving. That's a huge thing. A lot of people in our modern culture, are missing problem solving, right?
Speaker 1:
10:51
It leads to figuring out who you are and what you like. It leads you to understand the importance of practice. So many people that I work with, in different capacities in my life, they feel like if they're not good at something, the first try, it's not worth it to keep going. And I'm like, no, it's all about the process of getting better and you're going to be so bad at it when you start. Whenever I try something new, I'm usually abnormally bad. Like everybody else in the group can get it done and I can't, like I'm abnormally bad, but honestly, usually after not too much time and better than a lot of folks. And that sounds horrible to say, but I am more proficient because I keep practicing longer and that's happened with me and horses, that's happened with me in blogging, that's happened with me and gardening.
Speaker 1:
11:39
Lord knows it's happened in gardening. I was the worst gardener and now I'm someone that people ask questions to about gardening, not because I'm naturally talented, just because I practice longer than everybody else. Right. That's the only thing. So creation teach us, teaches us to practice. It teaches us that failure is okay and you won't die from it. Right? When you're a little kid and you're building a Lego tower, my kids get so mad when they break sometimes and we have to sit there and go, okay, listen, Legos are not permanent. Legos are meant to come apart. So how can you build a better next time? Yes, it fell over. Start, start again. Keep on trying. It also, and I've talked about this one before, the chemicals in our brain are designed to reward us. And when you connect with people, you get a certain little chemical hits and when you build something or you accomplish something, you get certain chemical hits.
Speaker 1:
12:34
And dopamine is something that our brain gives us a little bit of. When we accomplish something or we create something and it feels good and it makes us want to do it again. So our body is literally rewarding us for doing something proactive and positive, which I think is fascinating. And now, not to mention all of the wonderful skills, life skills that you learn through different hobbies or passions or projects. Mesa, my daughter has been wanting to learn how to cook. It's, she'll just be like, I just felt like cooking something. I just want to do something in the kitchen. So I've been helping her work through some of the recipes in my cookbook. And lo and behold, she's using math and she's using the fractions that she's been learning about and hasn't really been grasping in her book cause we homeschool, but she is all of a sudden understanding their real world application.
Speaker 1:
13:33
Last night we were making little pockets with pepperoni and cheese in them and in the recipe called for dough that had a seven inch diameter. Lo and behold, we've been talking about geometry in her math book. So she was able to get out her ruler and measure. Um, it helps her with, helps them with reading. It helps them with, uh, the, the process of understanding and comprehension and math and all of those things, right? So even if you're knitting or if you're building a boat out of wood scraps like my children do, you're learning about physics and sometimes chemistry and sometimes math and reading. And it's so beneficial. It's just helping us and our children really be immersed in the world around us. And it gives us just that fuller richer experience. So, so many benefits now. Now before we go any further, I just want to clarify.
Speaker 1:
14:24
I am not one of those crafty Pinterest moms. Like I don't do crafts. So I don't want you to be listening to this and going, Oh my word. I have to like start scheduling out when we're going to do the pine cone craft and the Turkey hand print craft and the paper Mashay like, no, I don't do that. Here's what I do just so you can get some ideas. We have raw materials on hand. So I have, we have all sorts of art stuff, markers, paints, crayons, felt, Mesa likes to create out of felt and they can have pretty much free reign on those things. It does get messy. There are a few different types of spray paints, a stuffed fabric paint that we do use with boundaries. But for the most part, I let them go for it. There's paper that I know that they can just use.
Speaker 1:
15:09
I'm not gonna freak out about them wasting it. And they, they do, they've made kites, they've made boats, they make houses, they make barns. They love a good cardboard box. Sometimes I get a little bit twitchy because I'll have a pile of cardboard boxes that need to go out to the burn barrel and the children will come through and go on a rampage and take them all and cut them into tiny pieces with doors and holes and color them in and turn them into cars and rocket ships and houses for their stuffed animals. And it's so messy, but they love it. Right? Cardboard boxes are a magical, magical thing and you just have to learn to be okay with a mess. Like I do make them clean it up eventually. But I'm always kind of talking myself off the ledge cause I like order and just being like, you know what, let them cut the boxes up because it's good for them.
Speaker 1:
15:56
It's good for the process, even though it leaves little cardboard pieces all over the carpet and I have to deal with it, but it's worth it. Right. Another thing that I really tried to do is to celebrate the accomplishment in what they create. And I really want them to help identify, especially if they've been working on something that's hard for them and they got frustrated for a time. I want them to acknowledge how they feel on the other side. And we talk about that a lot. And I, I really want them to be proud of what they completed. I feel like a lot of times as adults, we're embarrassed to be proud of something we created. Right? We always kind of rub it off. Oh, it's no big deal. It's fine when someone gives us a compliment. But it's okay to be proud of that. Right? That's not a bad thing. So when you can your first batch of tomato sauce, line those babies up on the counter and admire them for a day before you put them in the pantry. Like that's an accomplishment. And we need to do the same with our kids, whether, you know they're creating something out of Legos or blocks or paper, but let them start to identify how good it feels to create and build and they're going to want to keep doing it.
Speaker 1:
17:07
And the other big piece, you know, even though I'm not facilitating official craft time, I think the biggest thing that has prompted our kids to want to create is they see me in the kitchen making things and they see me repainting old furniture or making things pretty in the garden or decorating the house or making little Christmas decorations or things like that. They watch me do that. They watch me sometimes get frustrated, they'll see they've seen me mess up things royally in the kitchen and then they see me try again and get the results. The other day the kids really wanted, they've been watching master chef jr the cooking show with kids and they wanted to Brulee like a pumpkin pie, a Brulee on the pie. Is that a verb? I think it's not, but I'm using, I use it as a verb. We brulee'd the pie.
Speaker 1:
17:57
I don't really, it just sounds good. So I don't know if it's official, but anyway, they wanted to Brulee the pie and so we tried some of my organic cane sugar on top, sprinkle that all over there. I had to use the torch from the fireplace. It's like this little propane torch thing. Um, cause I don't have a Brulee torch or whatever it's called. Anyway, it didn't turn out so hot. Imagine that. And it was a little bit burnt, a little bit bitter. But they, you know, I told them we tried something new, we are trying a new recipe. It didn't quite work. And then they saw me try again with some different sugar and using the torch a little differently and it worked the second time. So they got to see the process and it made them excited. It made them interested in what we were doing.
Speaker 1:
18:37
It made them ask questions about the types of sugar we were using and the types of pie and why it was changing and what was happening to the sugar when it caught on fire. I think it was supposed to catch on fire. Right? Well it did. There was a little bit of fire on top of the pie. That might've been part of the problem. Anyway, we tried, right? They saw it and it made them excited and it made them interested. And that to me is the gift when they start to pay attention to the world around them, ask questions and be interested. So you've got to do it first and let them see you fail. Let them see you be confused and keep on going and then they're going to naturally want to follow in your footsteps. So that's my spiel on kids in creativity.
Speaker 1:
19:19
So I'm curious to hear what you think. I'd love to open up a discussion on this. So send me a message or leave me a comment over on Facebook or Instagram on the Prairie homestead pages and tell me what you think. And I'm going to challenge you for your own takeaway and this concept to start with yourself. If you're one of those adults who feel like you haven't really had a hobby or a passion since you were little, pick one up. I don't care if it's knitting or painting or writing or graphic design or gardening. Find something that lights you up and we'll start developing those creativity bits in your own brain and then give your children space where there's not structured activities so they can follow in your footsteps and you can create together. So hope that was inspiring for you. Happy creating my friends.
Speaker 1:
20:14
So if you are ready to do, homesteading is a part of your creative process. Well, I have a little tool that might help you out. I've put together a library of resources just for homesteaders and you can get complimentary access to it over at theprairiehomestead.com/grow I'll leave that in the show notes as well, but the address is one more time, the Prairie homestead.com/grow and that's it for today. Thanks so much for listening. If you found this episode helpful, it would help me out so much. If you'd pop over to your favorite podcast player and leave a quick review or hit subscribe and that's it for now. But I'll see you in the next episode of the old fashioned on purpose podcast.
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