When it comes to our kids, the possibility for worry is endless. We worry about their happiness, their wellbeing, their grades, their development, their friends, their relationships, their heath. We worry about the kind of people they are going to become and how resilient they are going to be. As a parent, we want to raise happy, capable children, and part of a well-balanced life is creativity. Yet creativity is never something you can force on a child through activities or toys, it needs to be something that they embrace themselves because of the joy it brings them. Our job as parents is to try to open them up to their creative potential and show them that opportunities for creativity surround them.
One of the most precious gifts the creative person possesses is imagination. Imagination is something that children have in abundance, but too often we stop using it as we grow up because were told its impractical or childish. Foster your childrens imagination. Youll be amazed at the depth of wonder and joy kids are capable of, and for them, the world is a place of infinite possibility. Play make-believe games where your children have to act our parts or scenarios of their own creation. Tell stories together and take turns deciding what happens next. Helping your kid embrace the magic of life rather than quashing their imaginings with grown-up logic is a great way to keep your kids thinking outside the box. As they grow into adults, creative thinking patterns will help them with problem solving in more practical pursuits as well.
Finding the right outlet
Just because your child rejects playing the piano or doesnt seem to enjoy drawing or painting, doesnt mean they lack creativity. Everyone has an outlet for their creativity, the number one mistake that parents make is neglecting to find and foster this outfit, often trying to push their child into a hobby or interest that doesnt fit. Encouragement is the key here, as well as observation. You know your child better than you think you do, but now its time for you to apply some creative thinking to the situation. Your child may not be interested in art, but could have a great penchant for getting out of trouble (I swear the alien from next door came and blasted that hole in the wall mummy!) which, looked at from a different perspective, could mean he or she has an interest in storytelling through theatre or writing.
Dont give up
Early on, many of us are pigeon-holed, due to an inclination for one thing over the other. Your child might be very interested in computers, which many people would view as a more practical, logical pastime. Yet there are a variety of online toys, activities and computer-generated music software that can capture their creative interest. Boys in particular often show a tendency towards computers, but channelling this interest into areas that still challenge their imagination is a surefire way to keep their minds broad and enquiring.
The most important thing to remember is that your child, while your responsibility, is not your clone, nor are they your second chance at doing the things you wish youd done in childhood. Remember that their developing personality needs encouragement and acceptance, and you will have a happy and content child who chooses their own creative path.
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