The daily life of a teenager in our society today is increasingly complicated and stressful. The pressure to perform, conform, fit in and simply get by can be enormous. For some teens, the omnipresent social media can create a sense of feeling “less than” and can even be detrimental to self-esteem, fostering comparison to others rather than focusing on one’s own uniqueness.
Nurturing an adolescent’s creativity can be invaluable in so many regards. For one, it can allow a teen to explore who he or she is as an individual. Discovery of self is an important developmental task at this stage of life. Dr. Dan Siegel, professor of psychiatry at the UCLA school of medicine and a leader in the field of adolescent brain development, writes that creative exploration is one of four vital features of adolescence (along with emotional spark, social engagement and novelty-seeking). The thrill and passion of discovery are ripe during the teenage years and many exciting innovations in music, art, dance, writing come from adolescents, after all.
Creativity can mean many things to different individuals. It can be a way of taking in or seeing the world around you and constructing something completely unique and special. It can be a new idea or a way of doing something that is slightly different or completely fresh. It can be a new way of thinking about something or a completely new concept or category.
Encouraging teens to develop creativity is also important because it can allow them to see their lives in a different light. Creativity can help change one’s perspective substantially. Instead of feeling bound by circumstance and powerlessness, teens can feel empowered by their creativity and the ability to make choices, express their true selves and feel good about what they create. The cognitive changes that occur in the teen brain allow for an outpouring of creativity and can help each individual shape the life he or she wants to lead.
Four Spoons recognizes how important it is to encourage creativity in children, teens and adults. The Four Spoons Teen Summer Experience embraces the strengths in every participant. Creativity is explored through a multi-sensory experience using music, art, cooking and other modalities. Teens will come together as a group to create meals as well as art and music works that will be presented to families at the end of the program in a celebration dinner and gallery. Participants will have many opportunities to share and learn from others as well as take new risks in their work and gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their abilities.