These guys are homophones and before we begin our journey, let’s get this straight, it is stationery we are referring to today!
Stationary is something that does not move or stays still in one place. Kinda like when the teacher asks a question and you sit so still that, in your mind, you almost cease to exist.
My daughter and I are stationery obsessed. We spend all our money (and daddy’s) on the trendiest and cutest stationery we can get our hands on. A quick trip to the mall could easily lure us into a stationery shop and then, time seems to stop.
“Oh my GOD, I need these mom.”
“I know right? Me too!”
My husband, on the other hand, walks around crushing our high spirits with eye rolls and repeated glances to his watch – so we normally tend to ignore him.
Being a ’90s kid, we had the best of both worlds. Our gadgets were barely gadgets and we loved our stationery. We communicated through spitballs and handwritten notes during class. The most popular kids had the coolest and most worn out backpacks, while the nerds settled for pencil cases which looked like little robots – which, by the way, could give the transformers a run for their money!
Now I do love all the convenience that technology brings us. I must admit though. Computers and tablets are robbing us off traditional means of creating communication. There is a disturbing gap between an active, screen free mind and a blank paper. Instagram is filled with journalling ideas but whatever happened to creativity? We are so busy taking pictures and preserving memories that we don’t have any memory of the moment when those pictures are captured. It’s almost as if we are in zombie mode and unfortunately, it gets worse for the kids.
As our children get smarter, extended exposure to screen time is making them more easily agitated and fidgety. Boredom is no longer an option as gadgets become their tantrum pacifier. Their playground has slowly transitioned from physical to virtual. With the sudden hike in addictive technology, parents are looking for creative ways to wean their children off their gadget addiction.
Sometimes, simple things such as encouraging our children to collect memorabilia for a scrapbook could motivate them to notice minuscule details around them, to paint in their art journal. It’s amazing to see the eye replace a camera shutter and the hand replicate what a printer does. If gadgets are what they crave then be brave enough to gift them a camera and watch them earnestly immerse into photography, as they try to impress you with their developing skills.
My daughter developed an interest in photography when we gifted her a polaroid camera. These are some of the images from her collection and are a window for me to see the things she notices when we are out on field trips.
Instead of turning to Youtube for art ideas, inspiring a child can occasionally be effortless when all that is available to them are art supplies. Oh, how we spend a little fortune on those! But it works every single time. When my 10 year old walks up to me with an “I’m bored”, I present her with one of my most sarcastic smiles and reply, “Awesome!” You know what that does? It drives her up the wall. She retracts to her room full of art supplies, Lego and a TV she’s only allowed 30 minutes on, and always comes back with innovative ideas. She churns that boredom into poetry writing sessions, creating surprise cards for family and friends, or just simply connecting with herself by indulging in art, like drawing or painting.
The temptations are numerous once gadgets are connected to the internet. Younger children are able to play games on a smartphone and tablet now, but unable to tie their own shoelaces, ride a bike or swim unaided when older.
Endorsing a creative atmosphere by equipping a child with stationery can be that difference between expecting or nurturing. Expectations are to throw the seeds and wait for them to sprout with little care. Nurturing requires time, patience, genuine interest and a whole lot of coffee!
How do you help keep your home gadget free and instill a genuine interest in paper, as a replacement? (Paper photography, coloring and writing on paper, reading newspaper.)