Fostering your child’s creativity is a vital part in helping them grow. It will help them discover things about themselves and shape how they see the world. Creativity, contrary to popular belief, isn’t innate. Just because a child’s parents are a painter and an astrophysicist respectively does not mean they will inherit their traits wholly.
Just as talent is a pursued interest, creativity is taught, learned, and honed. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to help your child unlock their creativity. There are ways to help encourage your child’s creative streak.
But why is creativity in children so important?
Creativity helps a child grow and develop into a confident and well-adjusted person. It also helps them see the world in better ways, and helps them become better leaders down the line.
Ways to encourage creativity in children
- Encourage play in their downtime. Play helps kids explore their surroundings freely and at their own pace. As much as a school routine helps them learn, unstructured play gives children space to do things without having to mind any guidelines or time constraints. Make sure to give your child things to play with, like building blocks, art materials, or simple versions of musical instruments. Supervise from a safe distance, but don’t hover as they figure the materials out.
- Let your child speak up. A common mistake most parents make is deciding everything that their children can do. Allowing kids to speak up about activities they would like to do will make them feel listened to and valued, as creativity thrives with space to breathe. If they lose interest in their chosen activity, do your best not to say “I told you so,” because this will affect their confidence and interfere with their desire to try other things out.
- Apply creative thinking to any situation. When your child is presented with a problem that you know they’re capable of solving on their own, allow them to. Doing so will let them use their creativity and teach them valuable problem solving skills. Creativity isn’t limited to art, and giving your child room to think will help them apply creative thinking and curiosity to everyday life. Using technology in moderation and supervision helps as well.
- Give room for mistakes. Failure is okay. Mistakes help children understand the concepts of resilience and risk-taking, and helps them realize that they can keep trying until they get to the outcomes they want. Being too strict or negative with your kid’s mistakes will make them grow up in fear of judgement, and impact their mental help as they grow up. Let them know that small failures will happen again and again sometimes, and that what’s more important is that they can always try again.
- Let your children disagree with you. The real essence of creativity and education is questioning why things are how they are. When your child finds themself disagreeing with you about a certain topic, let them express themself. This will help them know that it’s okay to have opinions of their own outside of yours.
Creativity requires a bit of freedom to bloom in a child. Help yours along and remember that your child will grow better with support, and not strict rules. Fostering creativity at this stage is important because it will shape them more now than later.
Nina Alvarez is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel. Her interests include writing, particularly about the healthcare sector and the many ways it can improve to further benefit people from all walks of life.