Recently, I was listening to a podcast with Anthony Esolen, the author of Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of your Child. While I have not read the book (my husband has informed me that it is on our bookshelf), it has generated a plethora of reviews, critiques, responses and agreement that have certainly piqued my interest.
Then I got to thinking about what else suffers as we notice the collective shrinking of our imagination. Is a love of and appreciation for art next in line for extinction?
So, in my own nod to Esolen, here is my non-exhaustive list on how to raise an art-less child:
- Schedule every moment for the children in your life, at home and at school. We would not want our children to have free, unstructured time. They might accidentally create something, or even worse, might find that they LIKE to create. That will not do.
- Ensure that your home, office, school space is a “mess free” zone. We can’t have any residuals of the creative process lying around cluttering things up. Neat and tidy, tidy and neat. Remember, cleanliness is next to godliness.
- In fact, you really should just eliminate any type of crafting or art supplies altogether. If they have no tools, they can’t
createmake a mess.
- On the off chance that children gain access to art supplies and actually make something, do not display it. Instead, it’s probably best to point out the deficiencies of their work lest they be encouraged to continue along these lines.
- To be fair then, you really shouldn’t display any art in your home, school, or office. No sense in playing favorites – no child’s art, no art from anyone.
- There’s no need to stop just at the home, school, or office. It’s best not to take your children to any museums. Those places are really too stuffy, too quiet, and not really appropriate for children. Besides, since you’ve eliminated free time, there’s no opportunity to go to museums anyway.
- It’s probably best then to not encourage your children to read very much. They might stumble on dangerous works such as this book or this one.
- Instead of exposing them to good books, be sure then to substitute technology and banal programming. Just to be safe, avoid any shows or games where they could be creative; you want mind-numbing, not mind-enriching, so take no chances.
- Do not expose them to or point out ANY beauty in nature. Goodness, if you’ve managed to keep them away from human-created beauty, don’t slip and let them appreciate God-created beauty.
If you are able to adhere to these nine guidelines, you should be successful at killing any love for or joy in art and beauty in your own child and those of others you love. 🙂
Just in case one of our wonderful readers has not picked up the tongue-in-cheek nature of this post and is scrambling to send my poor children a box of art goodies (don’t let me stop you…), the pictures in this post are my own children, the books listed in #7 are well-worn due to being read so many times in our home, we frequently visit natural parks and museums, I cannot store all their art supplies, and we have numerous works of art hanging in our home (Laura’s art, famous art, and my children’s art).
Laura · October 6, 2016 at 3:21 pm
Oh my gosh Michelle, that neat and tidy stuff really got to me! Compartmentalize your mind and your life, no room left for imagination or fun. Just plug away at your keyboard, watch tv and wonder why you’re not leading a creative life! As an artist, I agree stir the mind with a bit of creative mess!
Michelle · October 6, 2016 at 3:31 pm
Honestly, the mess part is the hardest one for me! My girls LOVE to have all day dedicated to creating, and I just have to brace myself for the mess that will come and know that I have two art-loving girls who couldn’t be happier 🙂