I Foster My Son’s Creativity by Keeping Him in an Empty Room
Kids these days wouldn’t know how to play pretend if a bucket full of childhood whimsy hit them in their smug faces. I will never, until my dying day, understand why some children, in the prime of their youth, would rather watch a YouTube video of a grown adult opening a box of sponsored toys rather than create a world of magic and wonder with their Legos and Lincoln Logs. My boy deserves better than that. That’s why I’m doing everything in my power to foster his creativity.
I Took Away Toys That Inhibit Imaginative Play
When I was a kid, we had to walk 2 miles in the snow just to turn lumps of clay into tiny, pretend people. We had to use different-colored clay lumps to create different types of people! Blue clay was a police officer. Red clay was a firefighter. Black clay represented the existential darkness inside all of us. You know, that imaginative kind of stuff that allows children to process the world around them.
I knew I had to remove all the playthings I felt would be detrimental to his development. I don’t need my son pretending the Earth revolves around the Sun every time he plays outer space just because his planet mobile tells him it does. Of course, they don’t make kids’ toys like they used to, so now he just doesn’t have any, but that’s okay. He has his mind.
I Removed Anything That Might Influence His Thought Process
It’s not just toys that are the problem. Everywhere you look, children’s furniture, decorations, and clothing are plastered with the icons of kiddie pop culture. Paw Patrol toddler sofas, Lightning McQueen race car beds—everything is an advertisement, and all it does is serve to remove the child’s own original thought. I simply could not allow such aggressive hostage-taking of my child’s mind.
First, I removed Thurston’s bed. He’s young enough to bounce back from sleeping on the floor, and now, I won’t have to worry about him climbing and falling over the crib railing. Then, I went for the Caillou-covered curtains and the Doc McStuffins rug. My son is a smart little boy, and thanks to my efforts to foster his creativity, he can come up with his own characters to play with.
There’s Literally Nothing Left
Now he sits there, in his empty, white room. He mostly just stares at various empty, white walls, his growing mind is ablaze with the possibilities of 1,000 made-up universes, discovering a meaning to life that no Tickle Me Elmo could ever hope to provide. To the creativity-deficient children of today, this may look like some mere empty room, but Thurston and I know the truth. This is a blank canvas on which he paints his wildest, most creative dreams. Man, I’m such a good mom.