How to Raise a Creative Child

Yeppers, TV writing fans, TVWriter™ has done it again. We’re bringing you something absolutely essential for your life – if your parents had read it 20+ years ago. This article still has some relevance, though. For one thing, it’ll rekindle all that vitriol you felt for your family. You know, the emotions that made you turn to writing. And for another, if you read and remember, then this definitely will help those strange little aliens known as your kids:

litte girl creatingby Dr. Judith Schlesinger

2014 year brought a delightful piece of serendipity to my mailbox. When Canadian Bernard Poulin read his local newspaper’s account of my book,The Insanity Hoax: Exposing the myth of the mad genius, he was moved to send me a copy of his own, Beyond Discouragement—CREATIVITY: How to raise a creative child(Classical Perceptions, 2010).

Poulin (POO-lin) is a successful and world-class professional (see his amazing artwork here).  Beyond Discouragement builds on four decades of his so-called “wonderings,” as well as his years of working with kids in remedial settings, and is illustrated with his own charming drawings.  It’s hardly news that self-publishing can restrict one’s audience—this book has been out for four years without acquiring a single amazon review. But it also enables authors to color outside the lines of political correctness without alarming any editors.  And so this one does. Frequently.

True, the area is already chockablock full of advice. A Google quest for “teaching creativity” produces 50,000 hits, while amazon offers over 4,000 resources of its own (including that 24-pack of quill feathers in assorted colors, and the fuschia violin). As you’d expect, most books were written by educators, psychologists and motivational entrepreneurs of various stripes.  It’s far less common to hear from those in the actual trenches whose immersion in creativity is most direct, personal, and visible—i.e., the artists themselves. It’s even more unusual when these author/artists have a background in mental health, and can pinpoint the issues of psychological concern.

In fact, Poulin’s history does give more weight to his wonderings. Originally trained as an elementary school teacher, and later certified in special education, Poulin founded a residential school in a former orphanage. A warm and welcoming respite for children with difficult living situations, his school flourished for three years until the government pulled the plug, dispersing the young ones from the only home and school many had ever known. Poulin then ran the first-ever classroom for troubled French-speakers for the local school board, as well as one that was part of a psychiatric hospital. In 1978, after too many battles over the benefits of nurturing staff versus psychotropic medication, Poulin began his visual arts career.

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