Not long ago, I found a link to a Today Show interview with clinical psychologist and parenting expert Wendy Mogel and teacher and writer Jessica Lahey about how to help children be creative. Mogel and Lahey both talked about how important it is for kids to have downtime and opportunities for unstructured play. Mogel stated that we “need to encourage our kids to really embrace creativity” and that “the best teachers of creativity are free time, nature, and mess.” Lahey, who blogs at Coming of Age in the Middle, followed Mogel’s advice with ways that her family tries to accomplish this. She shared that on the weekends they have two hours of “nap time, quiet time” when the devices are turned off and “everyone has to find something to do and be quiet doing it.”
Today, I took this advice to heart. After the breakfast dishes were cleared away and the laundry started, I curled up with Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success. I have heard of Gladwell’s work and have read a few of his articles in The New Yorker, but somehow this is the first book of his I’ve read. It’s well-written and fascinating, and I was completely absorbed by the stories Gladwell told to support his theory.
I only feel slightly guilty for spending most of the day reading. I have plenty of professional books (not to mention other Slices!) I should have read, plenty of paperwork I should have done. It’s all waiting for me on my desk. It will be there tomorrow, and, thanks to today’s downtime, I’ll be ready to tackle anything.