Being a parent is all about caring for your children and preparing them for the world, but what’s the best way to do that? As parents, people try to do their best and teach their children skills they feel will serve them best. Some kids grow up learning to play the piano, or playing a sport, and some kids are encouraged to read more or to learn how to use a computer like a pro.
But one of the most important skills you can give to your child is the power of creativity and imagination. This isn’t just something that children are born with, rather a soft skill that’s cultivated over time.
Creativity isn’t just about making paintings and sculptures, it’s about finding solutions to problems and expressing themselves. If you want to encourage the creative spark in your child, keep reading to find out how.
Encourage Arts and Crafts
There are many crafts for preschoolers and older kids that you can do with your children, especially the young ones, that will instill a love for art and creation in them. Things like drawing, painting, playing pretend, and even making sculptures out of play doh all encourage creativity and imagination.
Support your kids when they try to do these things by playing along, telling them that these activities are good, and avoid saying that they’re wasting their time or that they should be studying instead as they grow older.
Instead, encourage them to balance their studies with other more creative pursuits.
The point of teaching your children how to be creative is to encourage them to come up with things themselves. Controlling their activities or insisting that they stay within certain limits, or that they should turn in drawings that look a certain way is the exact opposite of that.
You children may need a degree of structure at first, but the “how to” guides for creating animal masks or butterfly wings are guides, not strict rules for them to follow.
Creativity Comes in Many Forms
While it’s important for your children to know how to create things with their hands, it’s just as important to remember that creativity isn’t limited to the visual arts. Maybe your child prefers to read books, or is musically gifted and likes to compose songs.
Whatever their own wishes are, your job as a parent is to make sure they feel supported, and to encourage them to delve deeper into their interests. This gives them a chance to express themselves freely and feel a deep sense of satisfaction in life, even as an adult.
Don’t Take the Fun Out of It
Don’t take the fun out of creativity and arts and crafts by treating it like a chore. Remember, the point is to encourage your children’s own natural interests and talents, not to make them follow a path they never wished to be on. Sometimes parents can also make the mistake of forcing their children to commit to a certain hobby or activity and then demanding that they be the very best at it when the child just wants to learn new things and experiment.
In the end, keep the big picture in mind. Your child’s creative juices will flow whether they’re raking in trophies and medals for their art or not, and if you get too stuck up on those things, you won’t be helping anyone.
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