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Are we killing our children’s creativity? Always watching and worrying about what they’re doing, wondering if it’s “right” and following all of the rules?

Are you constantly hovering over your child’s shoulder, watching every step they take and telling them when they do something wrong?

By doing so, we are doing our children a great disservice. We are putting unnecessary pressure on them to be “perfect” and a cookie-cutter copy of everyone else in their class. Kids cannot create their way when they are under constant surveillance because they fear they will be reprimanded for any experimentation. We force our kids into specific activities and to stay within the strictly prescribed guidelines and then, when they have a desire to try something new, they think it is wrong, they think they are breaking the rules and participating in “troubled behavior.” We make them think they are bad kids just because they want to try something non-traditional.

But when in the workforce, how often are we told to “think outside the box”? To come up with an idea that’s new and non-traditional? How can we possibly expect our children to survive in a world that needs creativity when we stomp it out of them the second they start school?

In order to create and come up with something new, you have to break the rules a little bit, find a way to color outside the lines. If we want our kids to do what they want and feel good about it when they grow up, it means that sometimes going against the grain is the right way to do it. It means throwing paint at a canvas and seeing what comes of it. It doesn’t always have to be what the person next door is doing. It just has to be fun and without expectations. There needs to be room for experimentation and innovation.

At Project Be You, we want to step away from traditions and give our students the chance to get their hands dirty. We give them the space to create what they want and do it their own way. And we encourage parents to do the same with their children at home. Even if it just starts out with coloring on the outer edges of the pages, we want them to try it all out.

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