Whether we realize it or not we are raising a generation of consumers, kids who prefer to consume what others have produced and create nothing new themselves. In some cases we know it is bad and try to have them maintain a balance. Television, movies, video games can all be incredible education tools and I am a big proponent of them. In some cases we irrationally place higher value on older technology. Reading is unquestionably good for us and most people don't read enough. But being proud of your child because they read all day, every day, is also misplaced. Playing sports is also essential but lets not confuse that with being creative. Lets face it, we all know balance is good.
Unfortunately many parents focus on balance between different means of consuming. Creating needs to be a part of that same healthy balance. We were forced to create more as kids as we had less to consume. I had to write my own video games or at least type them in from a magazine and then debug and fix them due to printing and typing mistakes. I made things in the garage. I played in a band. I made models. I painted. I created.
The harsh reality is that one day your kids will have to pick a career path and hopefully get a job. You get paid to create, you pay to consume.
Summer is a great opportunity to start encouraging your kids to create, especially with the trend in California to continually shorten the school year. Add to that the fact that every smartphone is now a serious content creation tool.
- Write don't just Read
- Compose don't just Listen
- Film don't just Watch
- Coach don't just Play
A few ideas to get you started. Most of these reference Mac or iOS apps but similar apps are available for other platforms:
- Make a stop motion lego movie or a mini action movie
- Record a song or learn guitar from Stevie Ray Vaughan
- Create a comic
- Build a Robot
- Learn to program
- Dabble in animation
- Cook a meal
- Play a Banana Piano
- Design a plate
And don't just think this only applies to your kids. Even Facebook can be used for creation and not just consumption.You are never too old to learn something new. Remember, an imagination is a terrible thing to waste.