The different forms of creativity

The Different Forms of Creativitiy - The Highly Sensitive Child and Creativity

While reading about other Highly Sensitive Children in online forums and other blogs, I very often find moms and dads who talk about how creative their children are; how they love to draw and paint; how good they are with building blocks; how they can make incredible works of art out of almost nothing. And every time I read these wonderful stories of other kids, it made me observe mine all the more closely.

Our son was never especially good with his hands. I tried everything I could to spark his interest; I got him building blocks of all shapes and sizes, markers, crayons, paints, an easel, and loads of paper. We had stickers, glue, scissors, pipe cleaners, tape, and anything else a craft-lover could dream of. I was desperate to develop and nurture my son’s creativity by teaching him how to do all the stuff I thought creative kids were supposed to be doing.

But try as I might, all I could get was some incoherent scribbles and a lonely pile of untouched blocks. It kind of worried me that he never even want to try. All that stuff that I have loved since I was a child, he couldn’t care less about.

As he grew older, I started to see what other kids his age were doing. The little girls and their intricate doodles always left me amazed and hopeless at the same time. I was lucky if I could get a circle out of mine.

How can a child be highly sensitive, so in in tune with his world, and not be creative? I asked myself. Creativity, after all, does seem to be, one of the main characteristics of being highly sensitive.

“Highly sensitive individuals are those born with a tendency to notice more in their environment and deeply reflect on everything before acting. (…) As a result, sensitive people, both children and adults, tend to be empathic, smart, intuitive, creative, careful, and conscientious…” – Dr. Elaine Aron

Silly as it may have been, I wondered and worried that I may have gotten things wrong. Maybe I was missing something. Maybe I was doing something wrong. Maybe I wasn’t doing enough.

And then, out of no where and for no particular reason, this happened:

“Mom, do you want to hear a story?”

“Yes, of course I do!”

“Once upon a time, there was a tree. The tree was very sad because it was lonely. So the tree’s leaves started to fall. But then one day the tree met someone he liked very much. Then the tree was happy, and his leaves started to grow again.”

My son’s short story gave me goosebumps and left me in awe. But to say I was surprised that he had managed to come up with this beautiful story in seconds would be a lie.

I was amazed, but I wasn’t surprised. Ever since he was two, our son has been incredible with the use of his words. He could tell me he was sad or that he loved me before he learned to tell me what he wanted for lunch. His imagination was so wonderfully vivid, that he could turn a blanket into a submarine and go deep sea exploring for hours.

Our son was creative, and I’d known that all along. Sure he couldn’t draw or craft or build, but he could see things that I couldn’t. He could see beauty and magic in places that never even occurred to me.

Creativity comes in many different forms. It can appear in the form of a beautiful sculpture, a heart warming song, a delicious meal, or life changing medical research. There are no rules when it comes to what form creativity will take, and yet it is easy for us to jump to conclusions should our young children be incapable of creating something with a crayon or paintbrush or a building block.

Once again, I’d worried myself about something that wasn’t really there based on absolutely nothing. We are still working on those skills that need to be worked on, and we have come a long way: my son has been making amazing things with LEGOs and has started to show interest in drawing and painting while I have gotten way better at not losing it over nothing.

I am very proud of both of us.

The Different Forms of Creativitiy - The Highly Sensitive Child and Creativitiy

Proudly posing with the LEGO car he built after having happily stood in line for over an hour to take part in this activity

What about your HSC? In what ways does your child show creativity? It would be very interesting to see how differently creativity can express itself in our children!

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One Boy, Five Birthdays

No matter how hard I try – and I have tried, very, very hard – I can’t seem to remember how exactly I found out about Elaine Aron’s book, The Highly Sensitive Child. But I will never forget the words that led me to check it out.

My child hates birthday parties,  said someone on the internet.

What? A child, other than mine, hates birthday parties? I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I read it over and over again assuming I may have misunderstood. But I hadn’t. There it was, a real comment from a real mother of a child who hated parties. Continue reading

SURVIVOR STORIES: Changing The World (Or Believing That You Can) On Two Hours Sleep A Night

I discovered Emily-Jane’s blog, Surviving a Sleep Thief, a few months ago, and it has been one of my favorite blogs ever since. Emily-Jane’s writing is incredible, her stories inspiring, and her take on something as horrible as chronic sleep deprivation absolutely hilarious!

So imagine my surprise when I found an email from her in my inbox asking me – ME! – to contribute with my survivor story! It felt like Christmas and a promotion at the same time: I had made it to the Sleep Survivor Hall of Fame!
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It’s what kids do: The Highly Sensitive Child and disappointment

It's what kids do - The Highly Sensitive Child and disappointment

I have a confession to make. I got mad at my five year old because he failed to properly rip a piece of paper.

On the occasion of the Saint Martin’s Day celebrations this year, I volunteered to make lanterns with the children in my son’s class. Being a lover of crafts, I got busy looking up lantern-making tutorials that would be easy enough for the kids to make, yet fun and as creative as can be when making something with a bunch of 4 and 5 year olds in under 30 minutes. After what seemed to be hours of searching online, I finally found the perfect one.

Or at least I thought it was.
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5 Outdoor activities our Highly Sensitive Child loves

A few years ago, when my 5 year old was just an infant, I didn’t know many things. I knew some, but not many. One of the things I was sure of from the very beginning was the fact that my baby loved being outside. Whenever he got restless and cranky after I had tried everything to comfort him, taking him outside for some fresh air always did the trick.

Another thing I was certain of was that my son didn’t like to be around too many people at once, and he became inconsolable if there was too much noise where we were.

To make matters worse, for the first 3 years of his life, we lived in a country where parks were extremely scarce and public green spaces virtually did not exist. The infrastructure did not support biking, or even walking, let alone with a stroller. Sidewalks were difficult to find, and if you did find them, you’d either have trees sticking out right the middle or more typically, cars parked along the whole stretch.

So what do you do with a small child who needs to get out and can’t stand noise and crowds, when the only kid-friendly places we could go to were malls and indoor playgrounds? I’ll never forget how my son fought and cried when he realized we were about to walk into a mall. He always enjoyed spending time in the parking lot watching cars go by that he did the actual mall.
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Facing fear to enjoy the thrill of life

Dr. Elaine Aron recently wrote about her experience white water rafting in the Grand Canyon. In a beautiful post, she tells the world about how this experience was both incredible, and incredibly scary. She shares with us the fears she had to face on this trip, and not just the fear of the risks that come with white water rafting, but also the social fear of spending 13 days with a bunch of people who are nothing like you, who might make you feel like you don’t belong there, and who wear t-shirts that say things like “The best things in life are dangerous”. While reading about her experience facing her fear to enjoy the thrill of life, I got to thinking about my own fears.
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Even before Google, my mother knew

Being Highly Sensitive isn’t easy. Being Highly Sensitive and not knowing it is even less easy.

I didn’t always know what I was, or why I was the way I was. But there was a time when I wished I wasn’t.

I only discovered Dr. Elaine Aron and her work about a year ago. That was when it became clear to me why my son behaved the way he did. And through my discovery and my new understanding of my son, I realized that I was also a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), which explained why I felt the way I did growing up.
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Why we travel with a sensitive child, by guest blogger Bronwyn Joy

For those of you who missed this incredible post by my lovely guest, Bronwyn Joy from Journeys of the Fabulist.


No one ever said traveling with young children was easy. And anyone with a Highly Sensitive Child can tell you that doing anything that requires leaving the house, be it flying to Italy or going to the supermarket for eggs, can be a challenge. We try to do everything in our power to make our trips, short and long, as easy and comfortable as can be. My bottomless “Mary Poppins” diaper bag (which only contains two diapers) will be filled with anything we might need: sweet snacks have to come in the chocolate, strawberry and vanilla variety and salty snacks in cheddar and original to satisfy any craving that might come our way; an extra change of clothes in case ours get dirty or worse, wet; a specific water bottle with water at a specific temperature; some favorite toys; some favorite books; and a fully charged phone in case of a public meltdown nothing in the diaper bag will stop but an episode of Tayo the Little Bus.
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If we were having coffee – A blog linkup

Last week, I read a wonderful post titled If We Were Having Coffee. It was written by Suzie81 Speaks, a fantastic blogger. It was nice to feel like I was actually sitting with someone for coffee, and to hear about all the things they had to say. It felt so natural, so friendly. I loved it so much that Suzie, being as lovely as she is, told me about the let’s-have-coffee-together weekend blog linkup, of which Gene’O is the founder and host.

I thought I’d take this wonderful opportunity to pour my heart out, meet some amazing new bloggers, and have some coffee.

So here goes.

If we were having coffee…
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Packing for a trip with a Highly Sensitive Child, and other "unnecessarily complicated" things first-time-parents do

Packing for a trip with a Highly Sensitive Child, and other “unnecessarily complicated” things first-time-parents do

I remember a day, not long ago, when packing up for a trip was something we absolutely dreaded. It was something that could potentially bring on a full blown panic attack on my part. Something that required endless lists to be put together during an entire workweek. Something so physically and mentally exhausting that I needed a week to recover, only to have to repeat the whole process again.

The “trip” I am talking about isn’t some month-long journey halfway around the globe, although it really did seem that way the way we packed. There were no ships or planes or trains or hiking or even hitchhiking involved to get to our destination. It was the short weekend trip we made to go see my parents who lived an hour and half away by car. Continue reading