When I was pregnant with the boy we sat down and had a number of earnest discussions about how we would bring him up. We made many decisions and made plans for him, whilst understanding that if he was like us he’d be stubborn and stick to his own path, so we’d let him follow that, but we knew we wanted to encourage some creativity in him. So we did.
We both love music and we knew we wanted to encourage a love of music in him, we’d love him to play an instrument and enjoy playing for himself, but we would be happy if he just enjoyed listening to music. He does love listening to all kinds of music. He has a few small instruments, he likes his guitar, but he’s developing a real love of the drums, so much so we’re taking him African drumming over the weekend. Drumming gives him a lot of pleasure, though less so the people around him but I’m sure he’ll find his rhythm eventually.
We knew we wanted to encourage him to lose himself in a book. Reading is such a wonderful gift for the imagination. Since before he was born we’ve read to him nightly. When we have an afternoon together we often snuggle up with a pile of books. He’s too young to read by himself yet, but reading has given him such a wonderful, bright imagination, I love sharing that with him.
It’s well documented that despite a three year stint in an art college (doing a journalism degree) that I am terrible at arts and crafts. I am comfortable with the shonky nature of what I produce and my main aim is to teach the boy that arts, music and general creativity are for fun and personal enjoyment. It doesn’t matter so much if it isn’t perfect, it matters more that you enjoyed doing it. If you happen to have a talent or a gift for the arts then so much the better.
One way we try and encourage his enjoyment is by taking him to various creative learning events such as arts festivals, the theatre and to see interesting and diverse things such as African drummers and such like. It’s lovely to see him respond positively and enthusiastically to the new, exciting and colourful things he sees, and the feedback from school nursery is that our efforts are paying off. We have a boy who gets stuck into music, dance and drawing, we couldn’t be prouder!