While watching DisneyNature’s Growing Up Wild documentary, my two year old son assumes new roles: first, a bear. Then a monkey. Our dog becomes the scary lion. His crawling brother, a baby monkey. The couch, a big tree for scurrying to safety. For the rest of the day, we are not allowed to address him by his name, and with every turn, his surroundings transform into elements of his clearly vivid habitat.
We often hear caution about consuming — with technology, food, entertainment, and more. And especially when people allow themselves to be consumed by their own consumption — that is, they don’t reflect upon and make deliberate choices in what/how they consume — those warnings are probably warranted.
However, I am inspired as I further ponder this cycle of positive, deliberate consuming and creating. My son is currently enamored of the animal kingdom; every new show, book, or toy seems to spark some new fantastical adventure for him. As a toddler, he obviously isn’t yet terribly discerning in his media consumption. But when we help provide him with material that lends itself to his budding interests, he goes from being an passive audience to a vibrant creator.
And it makes me wonder…
…how often do we deliberately fuel our own fires with the things that bring us inspiration?
…how often do we teach our students to be similarly purposeful?
…what if, instead of attaching blanket shame to consuming, we spend our energies teaching our students to become more intentional and aware in their decision-making process?
I love that watching my kids’ creative process unfold gives me the opportunity to reflect on my own habits and interests — one of the more unexpected outcomes of a toddler pretending to be a monkey.
featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto