Arts classes or pricey STEM-themed toys may entice parents who want their children to be more creative. These things can certainly assist, but as a psychologist who has studied creativity extensively and written numerous books about it, I can reference more than 70 years of creativity study to come up with additional ideas that are more likely to work – and won’t break.
1. Keep your rewards in perspective.
Rewards and praise may entice some parents to encourage their children to be creative, which is defined as creating something new and helpful. However, incentives and praises might actually dampen your child’s natural creativity. That’s because the activity may come to be associated with the reward rather than the pleasure your child gets from it. However, be careful not to be overly broad – “I adore it all!” – or too focused on their natural qualities – “You’re a really creative person!” Instead, praise certain aspects of their artwork that you enjoy.
Rewards may be beneficial. Giving a youngster who enjoys drawing materials to use in their artwork is an example of a reward that might assist them remain creative. It’s also worth noting that there are lots of things, creative or otherwise, for which a youngster may not be particularly passionate. It is not harmful – and potentially beneficial – to employ incentives in such instances. If a child is assigned to do something creative in school, but doesn’t want to participate, there is no guarantee that any enthusiasm will be dampened in the first place.
2. Encourage curiosity and new experiences
Research shows that people who are open to new experiences and ideas are more creative than those who are more closed off. Many parents have children who naturally seek new things, such as food, activities, games or playmates. In these cases, simply continue to offer opportunities and encouragement.
For those whose children may be more reticent, there are options. Although personality is theoretically stable, it is possible to change it in subtle ways. For example, a study – although it was on older adults – found that crossword or sudoku puzzles can help increase openness. Childhood and adolescence is a natural period for openness to grow. Encouraging curiosity and intellectual engagement is one way. Other ways might include encouraging sensible risk-taking – such as trying a new sport for a less athletic child or a new instrument for one less musically inclined – or interest in other cultures. Even very simple variations on an evening routine, whether trying a new craft or board game or helping cook dinner, can help normalize novelty.
Motivate Your Child to Ask Questions
This is where a digital assistant, like Alexa, google home, could come in handy. If your child isn’t naturally inclined to ask, turn the tables and ask them! “Why is the grass green?” “What makes a car move?” They might amaze you with their imaginative answers as they think about the world around them.
Give Your Child the Freedom to Make Mistakes
Celebrate individuality by praising children’s creativity instead of correcting mistakes. Play becomes more about perfectionism than exploration and imagination when you focus on fixing mistakes. If you overdo it, your children may become frightened to experiment and express themselves.
3. Assist them in determining their finest concepts
What about when children are actually creative? Most people are familiar with brainstorming and other methods that encourage a lot of different concepts to develop. However, it’s also critical to be able to judge and choose your finest option.
Your youngster may come up with 30 potential answers to a problem, but if they pick the least exciting or actionable one, their creativity will not be expressed. If giving praise is difficult, providing feedback may be next to impossible. You run the danger of squashing your child’s interest in being creative if you are too critical. However, if you are too easy on your child, they may not be able to utilize their full creativity.
If your kid wants to hear what you have to say, it’s a good sign he or she is creative. We need to make sure we provide feedback after they’ve come up with a lot of viable options.
Ideally, you should strive to make certain that your child feels competent and focus on feedback that relates to their prior work: “I like the imagery in your poem; you’re getting better! What other metaphors might you use in the last line?”
Introduce Your Child to a Variety of Creative Activities
You never know what will appeal to your child. Encourage your child to try singing, dancing, telling stories, drawing, and playing dress up help nurture their imagination and creativity. You can do with your for kids like catwalk, cloud kaleidoscope, puppetry, role-play, and more.
Dedicate Space in Your Home to Creativity
This doesn’t have to be a whole room. A corner, a desk, or a chest filled with playthings is just as good. Fill the space with objects that your child would employ for creative play, such as old clothes, construction paper and crayons or other artistic materials, building blocks, and so on.
Make Sure All Screen Time Benefits Your Child
Choose kids apps that commit to educating and inspiring your child’s imagination. For example, you’ll find lots of creative kids videos like arts and crafts, dancing, drawing, amazing art, and balloon animals.
Furthermore, educational, exploration topics take your child across the world, into space, and under the sea. There’s a lot to see, learn, and do.
Nurture Your Child’s Problem-solving Skills
Demonstrate that there are various applications for an item or a problem-solving approach. A pencil, for example, isn’t simply for drawing and writing. A pencil might be used to make a wonderful drumstick, a hole punch, or even a pole for a tiny fort.
A good way to encourage your child’s critical thinking is to engage him or her in exploring unlikely scenarios and options that lead to positive outcomes. This develops your kid’s ability to consider various viewpoints and look at commonplace items from new angles.
4. Instruct them on when not to be innovative
Finally, having a lot of options is not necessarily the best solution. Sometimes simple solutions perform just as well. You don’t need to build your own plunger from a coat hanger and a bisected rubber ducky if the toilet is clogged and you have one.
While these are both individual traits, there are significant connections that may be drawn between them. For example, some people claim to like creative individuals but have really negative perceptions of creative youngsters without even realizing it.
If your youngster’s creativity is generating conflict in the classroom, such as discipline problems or poor grades, you may want to work with them to assist them establish the proper course of action.
If your youngster frequently blurts out their opinions regardless of whether they are relevant to the class conversation, remind them that they should offer thoughts that are directly linked to the class topic.
If you get the impression that the instructor simply does not appreciate or enjoy your child’s creativity, you may want to suggest that they keep a “creativity parking lot,” where they write down their creative ideas and share them with you – or another teacher – later in the day.
Creativity has several educational, professional, and personal benefits. You can assist your child develop and utilize their imagination to their hearts’ content with a few gentle prods.
Don’t Force Your Child to Do an Activity
Allow your youngster to pursue what interests him or her, rather than pushing them toward something they don’t want to do. If your youngster enjoys coloring, suggest they give it a shot at things like drawing and painting. If your kid isn’t interested in playing music, forcing them may only make them feel pressured and less enthusiastic about the game.
Give Them Time to Be Bored
There are many more methods to keep your children occupied these days that didn’t exist a decade ago. There isn’t much free time between pre-school, chores, screen time, extra-curricular, and other activities. However, it is essential because it encourages kids to come up with new ways to amuse themselves during downtime.
Boredom has been shown to improve creativity, make children more motivated, interesting, and psychologically healthy. According to Mark Oliver of Motherly, it promotes mental health.
Schedule Time For Creativity
Regular, uninterrupted periods of creative play assist your youngster in developing motor skills, attention, and communication. They also ensure that creative play is a high priority in your family’s busy schedule.