Never Limit a Child

My cousin stopped by 3 days ago to introduce me to her 4-year old daughter, Noor. I was fasting so my friends visiting from the States were out having lunch while I stayed home to finish a painting that was so close to completion. I had 96 inches of canvas rolled out and I had managed to capture the Egyptian horizon at sunset, speckled with silhouettes of Mosques and palm trees.

When I went into the kitchen to wash off my brushes, I heard my cousin screaming at her kid, followed by loud cries. I followed the noise into one of the bedrooms and found that the little girl had taken one of my tubes of paint and started to paint on the walls. My cousin kept insisting she would pay for the damages and I told her it was nonsense. Instead I picked up where Noor left off. The little girl had already created what looked like a giant orange sun. Together we drew camels and women with baskets on their heads, donkeys, and a marketplace. I was thrilled her kid was inspired to create. Re-painting the walls was pennies compared to watching Noor unleash her inner creativity. To me, that's priceless. Instead of condeming Noor's actions, I told my cousin she should encourage it. Punishing a child for unveiling artistic energy was a crime. Punishing a kid for making errors in reading or writing should also be felonies. By doing so, you discourage a child's creative development, in learning the beauty of colors, words, and releasing alternative languages of the soul.

Today, my cousin stopped by early this morning with a picture little Noor made for me on a welcome mat. It was a huge sun with palm trees, a camel, and what looked like grasshoppers with hats on. At the top of the painting, Noor had written my name in English, with the help of her mother, of course.


Never ever condemn a child for being creative, at any age.