By fostering creativity in your child, you can help her mature mentally, emotionally, and socially. As a child grows, her 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 his intuition and spontaneity, his creativity can grow. Not everything has to be planned; encourage your child to act on his creative thoughts and actions spontaneously. If he feels like a superhero one minute, run around and save stuffed animals from burning buildings with him. If he is sad or scared about something, encourage him to draw or color to express his feelings at that moment.
Teach children to rely on themselves, and to be confident about their ideas. Don't let others influence their decision making. Encourage children to stand up for what they think, feel, and believe. For example, if your child's friend tells her that she shouldn't color the sun purple; encourage your child to defend her choice of color.
Remove the Pressure of Performing
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.
Offer 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 her life. Be aware of your child's talents and interests, and always encourage her in everything she does. Provide your child with unlimited support while being her biggest fan.
Respect Your Child's Needs
Value and encourage your child's imagination by giving her the resources for creative growth. These could include a box of crayons and paper, art supplies, classes, imaginative play with parents, playdates with other children, and even story time.
Develop Creativity Through the Arts
Encourage your child's creativity by allowing her to explore her interests further. Help expand her enthusiasm by enrolling her in art, music, theater, and dance classes and after-school clubs, or host gatherings with friends who have similar interests.
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 her. In the process, you may also create unbreakable family bonds and memories to last a lifetime.