While all children are naturally creative, it’s important to nurture these tendencies so they’ll strengthen and contunie as the child grows. Not only will creative experiences help children deal with the myriad of feelings they’re just beginning to express--creative parenting techniques can also help foster your children’s mental growth, encouraging them to try out new ideas, ways of thinking, and even problem solving.
Artists Raising Artists
If you have a job where your creativity is expressed daily, nurturing this aspect of your child’s personality can start with sharing your artistic space with your child or including them in your creative process, whether that involves painting, fashion design, film making or other similar actions.
If your daily activities are a bit complex or hard to share with your children, never fear! Here are some tips on how to encourage your child’s creativity:
• Ask questions: When out on a walk in the park or at the grocery store, children will naturally ask questions, but you can inspire their imagination by keeping the conversation going throughout the day. The best questions are open-ended ones like “What if?”
• Be ready for creativity anywhere: Be prepared by toting crayons and paper with you so you can take advantage of down time at a restaurant or while waiting at the doctor’s office. Weave creativity into common everyday experiences.
• Let them take the lead sometimes: See what they’ll whip up in the kitchen for dinner (with adult supervision, of course!).
• Art starts conversations: Ask questions about the art they create, but also about the art they see in museums, the movies they watch, and the outfits they choose to wear. Ask them what they think is going on in a painting, how a show might have ended differently, or what they were thinking as they drew a picture.
Set the Stage
Make sure your child has a space at home to create all types of art. This space should be filled with plenty of raw materials so they can experiment with creative endeavors that go beyond just drawing or painting. Give them a chance to dabble with music, photography, clay, wood, and anything else you can think of. This way, they can explore what medium allows them to be the most creative. The goal is for them to express themselves, and this can manifest itself in any number of ways. Maybe you can paint one of the walls with chalkboard paint so she can create and recreate all in one afternoon. Or, put up squares of cork on a large section of a wall so he will have gallery space to hang his newest creations.
The Value of Creativity
As Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work day approaches, many of us start thinking about the future careers our children may pursue. Remember, creativity is important across all careers and all aspects of life. Arranging opportunities now for your child to experience creative activities will help celebrate their uniqueness, offer wonderful opportunities for you to connect with your child, and prepare them for a future of creative thinking and problem solving.