Summertime: a world of imagination!

Last week I wrote about how we as adults can rekindle our creative energy. This week, I want to talk about the people who never lost it in the first place: kids! 

Kids spend most of the year in school. It’s a lot like an office job — they sit behind desks, follow a fixed schedule, and spend most of their time working with words and numbers. But during the summer, they have a chance to break free from this rigid existence. 

Summertime is when kids get to be kids.

Most kids instinctively know how to balance the physical world with the world of imagination and intuition. They don’t distinguish between work and play the same way adults do — for a kid, helping cut up potatoes for dinner can be just as fun as chasing the dog around the yard. Kids have an energy, an openness and an easy connection with the flow of life that brings magic into everyday experiences.

A lot of that energy gets bottled up during the school year. But it doesn’t go away, it just gets buried under the weight of school and homework and trying to get to bed on time. In the summer, that buried energy can spring forth, ready to be harvested. When the fireflies come out, so does creativity and imagination.

As adults, we can give our children a tremendous gift: space to let their creativity run wild.

So many of my patients are parents who are raising families and doing the best they can for their children. In today’s world, there is a great deal of pressure to help our kids get ahead. Parents often feel like they need to schedule every moment of their children’s time, in order to give them a leg up. 

But this can stress kids out and stifle their creative impulses. It ends up being counterproductive and our kids forget how to just exist without a to-do list to follow. Summertime is the perfect opportunity to dial back on demanding that our kids do, and let them just be. 

When they get a chance to just be, their stress melts away. It happens so much faster with kids than adults. The more time they spend in that space, the more they’ll carry that habit with them as they grow up, and the more they’ll be able to really enjoy living. They’ll also be tapped into the part of themselves that brings such success to anyone who really lights up the world around them. 

By encouraging your child’s natural creativity, openness and imagination, you’re giving them tools to succeed, now and as they grow up. You can share that space with them too, leading by example and infusing your whole family with that energy.