By fostering creativity in your child, you can help them mature mentally, emotionally, and socially. As your child grows, their imagination is tamed by society's constricting rules, pressures, and do's and don'ts. Creative freedom is essential in helping children develop social skills, decision making skills, confidence, and independence. The following suggestions will encourage self-expression, self-reliance, and spontaneity, to help ensure that your child's creativity and imagination flourish.
Encourage Intuition and Spontaneity
When you encourage your child to rely on their intuition and spontaneity, their creativity will grow. Not everything has to be planned; encourage your child to act on their creative thoughts and actions spontaneously. If they feel like a superhero one minute, run around and save stuffed animals from burning buildings with them. If they are sad or scared about something, encourage them to draw or colour to express their feelings at that moment.
Teach your child to rely on themselves, and to be confident about their ideas. Don't let others influence their decision making. Encourage them to stand up for what they think, feel, and believe. For example, if your child's friend tells her that she shouldn't colour the sun purple; encourage your child to defend her choice of colour.
Remove Performance Pressure
Your child's creativity isn't about performing for parents, teachers, or friends. It isn't about who came in first or last; who is better or worse. A child should be free in his creative thinking. By removing pressure to perform, you allow creativity to flow in every direction. Your child shouldn't feel the need to always excel; he should feel at ease to express, create, and imagine.
Experiment with your child to see where and how she expresses her creativity. Is she constantly doodling on scraps of paper? Is she always dancing around the house? Does she dress up in your clothes? Is she always putting on plays? See what activities foster your child's creativity and then build off of them. Introduce her to other outlets and see how she takes to them.
Encourage Creative Adventures
It's up to you, the parent, to make creative adventures happen. Be sure to offer many opportunities for imaginative adventures and fun, family activities that allow your child to daydream, create, and explore. Nature walks offer a great environment to transform into Tarzan, Bigfoot, or a forest animal; rainy days are perfect for an indoor fort building contest. Take advantage of different situations to spark creativity and a sense of adventure in your child.
Building confidence is not only important for instilling creativity in your child; it is important for all aspects of their life. Be aware of your child's talents and interests, and always encourage them in everything they do. Provide your child with unlimited support while being their biggest fan.
Encourage your child to express themselves. This can be done through the arts, clothing, storytelling, and imaginative play. Be sure to encourage and support your child when they show interest in something that expresses their thoughts, feelings, or personality.
Introduce Creative Role Models
Does Grandma like to paint? Does Uncle Jim play the guitar? Encourage your child to spend time with creative role models who can teach, inspire, and guide them. In the process, you may also create unbreakable family bonds and memories to last a lifetime.