• I would like to allow my children to explore their creativity without stifling boundaries. So I bite my tongue when I see them taking sheets of paper, drawing one letter on it, and taping them to the wall to spell out a sentence. C’mon, why can’t you write the entire sentence, or at the very least, the entire word, on that one sheet of paper?! So I gently suggest, what if you wrote one word per sheet, that way you can save paper and the trees will appreciate the gesture?! My older daughter looks up, contemplative, before shaking her head, declaring, “Nah, I like the way this looks better.” Is she a Rothko in the making? Or a little elitist, thinking the world’s resources are at her disposal? Will she drive a Prius or a Hummer?

    The stress of this consequence, to how I handle such a small thing, overwhelms me momentarily. The phrase, necessity is the mother of all invention, triggered my AHA! moment. I clear out all of the paper and hide it in the closet. I dole out 30 sheets of paper. Then I explain to her, “this is your paper for the month, next month, you will get more.” The result? She cut up one sheet into little squares and used that to write her sentences before taping them to the wall (tape on the wall is another issue, of course).

    I gently explained to her that all resources are limited and that we have to treat the world as such. We should constantly ask ourselves, does the outcome, justify the means? A little advanced for her age but I’m pretty sure she got the point. I want her to be creative while taking the environment (and hopefully, not destroy our home) into consideration. In our house, Mother (meaning me) is the enforcer of rules, which isn’t a problem as long as they can have fun and learn!