【Creative Parenting Online Sharing Series】Session 4│ Presenter: Kwok’s family

Online Creative Parenting Sharing Session 4 – LIVE on YouTube

Aug 11, 2021 (Wednesday), Time: 7:30pm to 8:30pm

  • Moderator: Dr. Angie, Founder of CreativeKids
  • Guest Presenter: Kwok’s Family (Dad – Calvin, Mom – Yoyo, and Son – Connor)

The session is conducted in Cantonese. Watch in the player below, or click here

Meet the Kwok’s

Calvin – CreativeKids alumnus

Time flies, Calvin, a CreativeKids student since age 6 or 7, is now a profession architect!

Connor – CreativeKids student

Angie: Connor, do you think you are creative?

Connor: Of course! I play a lot! Not pressured.

Creativity is a personality. Everyone has a different personality and hence different creativity!


I am a piano instructor. Playing the piano requires repeated practices. How do we find creativity in repeated practices? I am also learning.

I try to give students choices when possible. But creativity sometimes requires a technical foundation too.

Learning from playing

Yoyo: At home, we give him freedom to daydream, to take things apart, and to explore with things, like the fridge, and ice.

He also gets to play with other children in our neighborhood, touching water, trees and insects, and skateboarding too! He loves it!

Calvin: Connor loves experimenting but not with pre-designed “experiment kits”.

Often times we buy what we think he’d like to play with, but they wouldn’t be what he would repeatedly play with.

Contrastingly, what I thought would be an overly-simple / underwhelming game of “playing with a cup of water”, is actually one of his favorite experiments to do – to test with freezing and defrosing different objects, like a lego piece, or a table-tennis ball!

I really appreciate Connor’s initiative of exploring what he is the most interested in. We give him as much freedom as possible to think of what to play with, under a safety boundary and with our support.

We would let him play with water and ice for an hour undisturbed. Instead of following our agenda of what to learn about the science of water, he really enjoys observing water and explore as it goes. He takes the lead, and we facilitate.

Angie: Can you elaborate more on why you do not disturb or interrupt him while he explore and create?

Yoyo: When I am watching him play, as a mother I tend to think that things are dangerous or dirty. But I then realize what I am afraid of (such as insects) is actually what he likes. Out of respect to me, he would stop playing. But if I leave him alone, he would be engrossed in observing the insect, or enjoy frying eggs and looking at the egg cooking.

He absorbs more knowledge when we are not watching. Hence, I am learning to “not care” about what he is doing, as long as it’s safe!

It’s really not easy to let go as parents! But, as other parents say, “empowerment” includes believing in your child.

Our hopes for our child

Yoyo: I hope Connor can find what he wants to play with! I believe that there’s a lot to learn through play. So, if he can develop his own hobbies, he will also develop curiosity and an adventurous spirit. So, I hope he will keep playing more!

Calvin: “What kind of person do we want our child to become?” We had many thoughts, and we put them into action, such as, learning sports and music. We had hoped that he would become very good at specific things, like, swimming. But then we realize these plans are actually boundaries.

It’s not always useful to plan a lot, because the child may not to be able to achieve them, or he can but doesn’t enjoy it. This causes some conflicts in the house sometimes. But it’s actually unnecessary. There is a lot that he can do even if not following our plans.

So, if you ask me again what I hope for, I really hope that Connor is a happy person, and finds what he is passionate about.

As one grows up, finding a passion is challenging (even for me!) But, if the child maintains curiosity and keeps doing what he likes, and manages to sustain it, that is what matters!

Creative Parenting

Calvin: We don’t have a “grand scheme” / blueprint in shaping Connor’s character. Just like many children, he has many free-spirited thoughts. And as parents, we try our best to “pave the way” for these ideas to go as far as possible.

As he grows up, he will face more and more constrains due to various factors. So, our support to make his child-like ideas and pure creations go far, gives him the confidence to call himself “creative”.

Captain Silly – a character created by Connor

Creativity is a self-owned asset that every child supposedly has, but that can diminish as they grow up.

Connor calls himself “Captain Silly”. It is a character of his performance at his school’s annual talent show. Although he did not make it into the final round, people got to know the unique character he created.

Connor: (After finding out the results) I thought to myself, I failed this year, but I can try again next year.

Calvin: Right after he didn’t get shortlisted, he immediately started thinking of what to do next year to make the performance more interesting! If it were me, I might have given up, or think that Captain Silly does not work. Yet Connor stuck with it and actually starting embodying the character!

Yoyo: He created and rehearsed the show piece himself.

Click here to view a 3-min performance of Captain Silly.

Angie: How do you balance the differences between your parenting styles?

Calvin: I think the thing is that our personalities are different, with quite a contrast. We each naturally apply what we feel is the best, to our daily interactions with Connor. Instead of us coming up with a parenting style, I would say that Connor actually adapts. Not sure if that trains his survival skills!

I don’t think there’s really a need for the style of each parent to be very similar. We just give all of us space to do what is best in each situation.

Yoyo: In terms of creativity, it’s the most important that he believes he has it. Then he can show in it many areas of everyday life, like in doing homework and practicing musical instruments.

So, I always remind myself to scold [my son] less. So, he is happier, and feels better about what he does.

Angie: How do you prevent yourself from falling into the trap of a “comparison-based” parenting?

Yoyo: Handling school assessments is an issue faced by every parent everyday. And we must remind ourselves that every child is special.

Connor’s strength is in doing well in something he finds interesting. He initially struggled with writing in Chinese. But creative writing made him love the language. He now thinks: “I am good at writing!” I encourage him to write more, not limiting to just “formal” topics. He often writes about fighting monsters and falling into mysterious holes!

Calvin: When we received Angie’s invitation to talk about Creative Parenting, [what came to my mind was] I don’t think I am very creative. In fact, we don’t have a good parenting “theory” to share – not one that we know would definitely “work”.

We too, are still exploring. And we are highly likely to change our approach after a while. So, our direction and methods keep adjusting to the needs of the child and our own ability and expectations.

Treasuring “poetic moments”

Calvin: I think that the time we spend together to try and move forward, are sweet moments. To me, every day we spend with one another is sweet. It may be a first time and a last time we try something. No one day is repeated.

Such enjoyment is what we value most in our family – these are “poetic moments” for our family.

At the end of the day, whether we succeed in raising a bright and creative child, or whether he acknowledges us as creative parents, is not the most important, nor something we can always plan for. Rather, we know deep inside that, every moment, every decision we make, is a poetic encounter – this is what I treasure most.

Angie: This is a question from the audience – What are you most proud of Connor for?

Yoyo: He has very good social skills, well-loved everywhere he goes. He lights up the room, and people love playing with him. Perhaps it’s because of his creativity. He finds something new to play with, and always makes new friends.

Calvin: With Captain Silly, his ability to playfully make fun of himself as a 9-year-old (not a very young child anymore)! I am proud of him for returning to the stage after losing, not once, but twice. He was not only persistent, but also really enjoying the process.

He was not shy to perform, and was very happy to play such a funny character. He really brought it to life! I was inspired to not think so much of myself, and learn to make fun of things like Captain Silly, so that everyone could be more relaxed! I admire these traits of Connor, which he seems to be retaining.

Yoyo: I also admire his ability to play and joke!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Comments