Book Club: Dr. Reivich’s Pick05/02/2013
Creativity Through Character
Positive Parenting by Dr. Karen Reivich
After we get back from a vacation, Aaron creates a book or slideshow using a program he found online. He inserts pictures, text and music. Images fade in and out; text scrolls; the photos are stunning and the music creates feeling. I was thinking about how creative Aaron’s books are and it occurred to me that Aaron’s creativity is fueled by his strengths of character (e.g. things like bravery, kindness and optimism). For Aaron, making books is a great marriage of his artistic talent, his computer skill, and his character strengths of diligence and the appreciation of beauty.
I started to wonder if the rest of my gang expresses creativity by marrying their skills and talents to their character strengths. Is “skill/talent + character” the formula for creative expression? Let’s see…
Jacob is not particularly creative in drawing or painting (don’t get me started on the lightning bolt he painted and submitted as his culminating Latin project) but he is off the charts in his creativity with language. That kid can string words together in ways that are unmatched. His repartee, like Aaron’s albums, seems to meet the formula: Jacob’s love of puns (creativity) = great vocabulary (skill) + humor and playfulness (character strength).
And Jonathan’s creativity shows up in how he can move on the dance floor. Dance (creativity) = athleticism (talent) + zest and enthusiasm (character strength).
Me? I’m not creative with paints, slide shows, cooking, drawing or problem solving. The list goes on. But when it comes to teaching, I’m creative. I use poetry, YouTube, experiential exercises, even an occasional song or dance! I think this creativity comes when I challenge myself to apply my character strength of bravery (not bungee-jump-off-a-bridge bravery, but willingness-to-take-risks bravery) to my skill of communication.
Think about your kids and how they express creativity. Does the formula hold? If so, maybe we can further encourage creativity in our kids by challenging them to find new ways to pair what they are good at with who they are at their best. And since another of my top strengths is “organization freak”, I might even suggest making a chart (I know, I know, not very creative of me! Feel free to decorate it if that moves you) so that your kids can see the building blocks of their creativity.
Karen Reivich, Ph.D.
Get to Know Dr. Karen Reivich
Our Positive Parenting expert answers questions about being a mom....
Sharks Can Attack05/02/2013
Dial It Back05/02/2013
Book Club: Dr. Reivich’s Pick04/25/2013
The Halloween Grouch11/05/2012
Creativity Through Character10/04/2012
The Importance of Rituals09/20/2012
Making Hope Happen08/16/2012
The Old Fashioned Way08/09/2012
Book Club: Dr. Karen Reivich07/05/2012