A Pirate's Resources

Creativity - True Play for all of us

I read this quote from a Dr. Gordon Neufeld recently: “Remember…children at play are insulated from the alarming world around them. Play is a sanctuary of safety. … In true play, the engagement is in the activity, not the outcome.”

I love this, as it speaks to the essence of our goals for
A Pirate’s Guide - engagement, not outcome. And it reminds us that, during these potential stressful times (I’m writing this 4 weeks into the US quarantine resulting from the Covid-19 virus), creativity provides all of us with a level of play and safety that we deeply need. Whether you are 3 and building a block tower, 10 and creating chalk art on the front driveway, 14 and art journaling your experience, 47 and taking a moment to tell a story, paint a picture, or create a lovely meal - creativity can be true play for us all. Take a moment, and slip into the “sanctuary of safety” that playing creatively allows. Whether that’s doing an exercise in A Pirate’s Guide, arranging some flowers in a vase, making up a story alongside your child, or even just plating dinner in a beautiful way, being creative is important for each one of us, parents included. Encourage your children to play today, in some way, and then join in yourself.

Rest in the engagement, and don’t worry about the outcome.


Dealing with Heightened Emotions

As we begin our third week of Lockdown, I’m beginning to see signs in my online communities of heightened emotions. This is obviously true of the adults who are feeling the expected stress of uncertainty, but even more so of our children, who may be overhearing things that confuse, scare, or anger them.

When I find that it's hard for my children to express their frustration/anger/fear/emotions in a healthy way, our family chooses to channel those pent up emotions into something creative. Creating is one means we humans have for expressing things we don't have words for. For one of my children, that means lots of paintings (and we are very aware that they are her emotions on paper, even if she isn't, so we comment little and just encourage her to keep painting). For my older child, it was in photography. For another, it was doodling and displaying her precious things creatively. For my husband, it’s writing (no surprise there), and for me, it is usually watercolor or nature journaling.

Most children need some direction in order to be creative, so we have also used creative writing to help those deeper emotions get channeled out in a healthy way. To be sure, the kids have no idea this is happening (and often we don't see it either), but even benign creative tasks, like brainstorming, lets our inner stuff find a venue to be expressed. When we created 
A Pirate's Guide t' th' Grammar of Story as a creative writing curriculum, we had no idea it would end up being a very easy and fun way for kids to get their inner life out, but, amazingly, it does. And sometimes, that's all that's needed!

So we encourage you to take those discipline issues, and give your child somewhere creative to channel it. If you think they might be interested in writing, try
A Pirate’s Guide t’ th’ Grammar of Story - it’s an easy to use (read: parents who are already stretched thin don’t have to teach) and fun to do (read: it’s a pirate story with engaging brainstorming and story-related exercises) workbook that can help fill some time and grow some creativity. Kids can do it on their own, or as a family (each would want their own workbook, since they write in them), or even do it with a virtual group. You can find out more about the workbook itself on our main page, or read through the reviews on Amazon. This is a fun and easy book - and the benefits are far more than just occupying their attention for some time each day.