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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10 thoughts on “The different forms of creativity

  1. Amanda van Mulligen

    Oh, again, what a lovely post! I’ve actually read quite a few comments from parents of HSCs that their child is reluctant to pick up a pen and draw, write, scribble. Sometimes because the coordination or dexterity is lacking, or they are afraid to make mistakes (my four year old gets very frustrated and cross with less than perfect letters – in his eyes then – even though any writing he does is off his own back and with no pressure at home or at school. Just like his big brother was……) or just because they are more interested in something else. I have doubts about my middle son as to whether he is a HSC or not. He’s so different from his elder brother who is undoubtedly a HSC – and yet he has traits that make me wonder. And then I remember the advice that even if there are two questions you can answer yes to on Aron’s list, but that are very true, then a child can be HSC. It’s easy to fall into a trap when you have more than one HSC at home – and expect them to behave the same. All kids are different – and even comparing one HSC to another is fruitless – they all show their strengths and beautiful characteristics in different ways. One composes beautiful stories, another draws wonderful pictures. My older two boys both love drawing and crafts but also imaginative play – they can make a game out of nothing and include their little brother in it too. So fun to watch!

    1. Leila Boukarim Post author

      Oh, Amanda, I often catch myself comparing and I know that is the worst thing one can do. Luckily though, I DO catch myself. Kids are so different, HSCs are so different regardless of how many similarities they share. My toddler is so incredibly different and I doubt he is HS, and it is interesting to compare their interests and capabilities, but I always I have to stop myself before I go too far and I certainly keep it to myself! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I learn so much from them 🙂

    1. Leila Boukarim Post author

      And I’m assuming most people know that already, but the visual is always the easiest to spot I suppose. Also I’m not sure we’re also wired to quickly relate creativity to “visual creations”. I have heard so many people state “all children love to draw and color” like it’s a rule or something. So even though I know that my son is great with words and can make a witty jingle instantly, one empty remark from someone will completely throw me off.


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