Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Julia Cameron with Emma Lively
Publisher: Penguin Group
“When we are willing to explore our creative gifts, we allow both ourselves and our children to connect to something greater – and to each other,” Julia Cameron states in the introduction to her book, The Artist’s Way for Parenting – Raising Creative Children.
This hardback book is two hundred and seventy pages, targeted mainly toward parents of young children. With a foreword by Domenica Cameron-Scorsese, Emma Lively also contributes to the book. There are acknowledgements and an index at the end.
Within twelve chapters, Cameron discusses ways to cultivate creativity in both parents and children. Topics include safety, curiosity, connection, limits, self-expression, inventiveness, conscious inflow, focus, discovery, humility, independence and faith. Each chapter has an eclectic blend of ideas to promote the topic along with “exercise” boxes of tasks to complete, write about or discuss.
To use the book effectively, the author suggests three tools: writing three hand-written “Morning Pages” daily about anything that comes to mind, taking a creative expedition weekly and ending each day by reviewing the day’s highlights with the child.
Because children mimic their parents, if they see us be creative, they will copy our actions and words. Using the three tools, parents move away from isolation toward connection among their children, family, and friends, producing healthy relationships.
Within the chapters’ exercises, parents are encouraged to have artist’s dates, safety circles, downtime and new experiences so they can become more playful and promote interests in their children. The best toys are the most open-ended ones of being simple as less is better to prompt imagination.
Since there is such a mix of ideas in each chapter, emotional and spiritual ramifications are also presented. As an example, the chapter on cultivating humility mentions how to focus on our wishes, overcome competition when with sibling rivalry by gift giving, and not constantly pressure our children.
With many personal scenarios told by the writer who was a single parent during her daughter’s upbringing, the book ends on an uplifting note that God is in control of both parent and child as they live, love and create together.
As one reads through the book, he or she concludes that creativity and imagination in children begins by example of those around them, especially in the home. This book hones mostly from the pro-active parental aspect of promoting creativity.
This book was furnished by Finn Partners in lieu of an unbiased review.
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