How to Encourage Your Children to Explore Their Creativity


Expect your child to be creative. Applaud your child’s creative efforts. Encourage your child to explore his or her creativity.

The child who feels appreciated for finding a new way to do, express, make, or view something is a child who feels confident in exploring the unknown. He or she is a child willing to take creative risks and who thus feels greater self-esteem. Such a child believes, “Mom and Dad like what I am able to create.”

Many parents assume that creativity is only evident in certain children—that it’s a talent or skill. Creativity is more like intelligence, every child has a dose of it! Just look at the use of language. Your child is going to come up with millions of brand new, never-before-spo­ken sentences during the course of growing up. No other person will ever string words together in the ex­act way that your child does. That’s creativity!

Encourage Your Children

Look at the way your child makes choices about clothes. That’s your child’s “style” under development. Nobody else will make those choices in exactly the same way. That’s creativity!

Give your child a blank easel and fingerpaint, and you’ll see your child create a pattern that no other child in the room creates. Give your child a pencil and ask him to draw a picture, and you’ll discover a picture that no other child in history has created.

Encourage your toddler to make up a dance. Let him or her delight in the way the body can move. Invite your teen to redecorate his or her room. Let your child know that it’s OK to make up songs.

When faced with a choice between giving your young child a coloring book or a blank pad of paper, go for the blank pad because it requires more creativity.

When faced with the choice between taking your teenage daughter to the store for designer clothing, or giving your child sewing lessons and encouraging her to put together her own “look,” opt for the sewing les­sons.

You may set limits, of course, on the extent to which you will let your child experiment with his or her per­son or property. You have the parental prerogative of saying no to pink hair or crayon drawings on the wall of your living room. The point is to encourage creativity

  • that is within limits.

Your child will always face limits. Let him or her know that adulthood isn’t a limit-free state. Ex­press to your child, however, that true creativity flourishes within limits.

  • that turns chaos into beauty.

One mother says to her son, “I can hardly wait to see what a fine display of order you are going to create out of this jungle presently known as Your Room.”

  • that finds new uses for the ordinary. Invite your child to make the centerpiece for your holiday table using anything found in the craft drawer or in the backyard.

From time to time, give items to your child and ask, “Can you think of anything else these could be used for before we throw them away?” One mother I know did that and found her daughter covering old laundry deter­gent boxes with contact paper to create containers for her magazines.

Give your child the freedom to try new spices on ordinary dishes. Try out new recipes with your child and new ways of presenting foods (in new containers, with unusual table decorations, in tins and on trays of the child’s design).

The child who discovers his or her own creative abili­ties is a child who discovers his or her potential. And that is a child who values his or her uniqueness!

Filed Under: Family & Relationships

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About the Author: Roberta Southworth is a psychiatrist by profession. She likes to help out people by writing informative tips on how people can to solve their family and relationship issues. She is currently staying in Ireland. She has 5 years of couple counseling experience.

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