Why do we idolize artists then discourage our children from exploring their artistic expression?
How many men do you know who sing? I know guys who probably sing alone in the shower, or in the car. There are always a few that will risk karaoke after enough beer. But how many men do you know who will open up and sing their hearts out?
Somewhere along the line we’re taught that boys don’t sing. And that unless you’re good at it you should be embarrassed by it. You should avoid it. So don’t bother trying.
What are we so afraid of? That someone will judge us? That if we can’t sing like our idols we’re somehow flawed and weak?
Singing isn’t the only thing we tell boys not to do. I was told from a young age that I couldn’t draw well so I avoided it for most of my life. Last year I started learning how to draw and it turns out I like it. And I get better at it with practice. Drawing, like singing, is a learned skill, not something we are innately born with.
How many means of artistic expression are we suppressing in ourselves and our children? Why is learning to express ourselves seen as a weakness? We should be encouraging a culture of learning. We can teach our children that if they aren’t good at something they can learn more about and practice it like any other skill.
I’ll start by leading by example. You’ll find me sketching in the corner singing to myself.
Photo: Flickr/John Liu
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