BY James Druman
Humans are naturally creative beings, and never is this so apparent as when we are children. From our first moment of awareness, we develop a natural curiosity of the world around us. We study it, sample it with our senses, and apply our own little experiments to determine it’s nature. As we grow into a toddler, this passion for all things foreign only increases.
In this time, our creative it at it’s maximum and still holds unknown potential, and this is the time when the proper encouragement from parents can allow that natural tendency to grow and outlast the limits of their peers’. Here are 4 tips for encouraging creativity before it has a chance to reach a peak and decline.
1. Limit Distracting Technologies
It’s no secret that arts, board games, active play, and hobby development have taken a back seat to technology. Look at the jaw-dropping graphics of today’s video games, and it’s not hard to see why.
Don’t get me wrong, I think many parent’s miss the point that these games are creative pursuits in their own right that open up whole new worlds of possibilities, but these worlds are still limited like a child’s mind is not.
Limit the time spent watching movies, talking on phones, and wasting time on the Internet. Pay attention to when these pastimes are good and when they are just a waste of time, and teach your child to develop other interests.
Inspiring the creative growth in your children takes a different set of paradigms than the average parent lives by, but it all depends on what you want to see out of your child. Take an active interest in how they play and what they do with their time, and guide them down the path to a creative future.
2. Be Curious and Creative With Your Children
Your own level of curiosity very much determines how your child will learn to embrace theirs. Many parents instinctively know to share a child’s enthusiasm when something blows their mind. They’ll feign the same excitement, or, if they are truly in touch with the spirit of the moment, they will actually share that excitement, seeing it from the eyes of a child.
But as children grow up, many of us stop even trying. We lose interest in their naïve expressions of interest and in many cases may even become annoyed if we are preoccupied with something and our child wants to share their fascination with a rainbow we’ve seen a million times.
The longer you are able to understand, appreciate, and share their enthusiasm for life, the longer they will maintain it. Otherwise, they will simply do as their role models do and cast their hunger for novel experience aside.
3. Plan Creative Pursuits
One of the reasons we tend to ignore the interesting if we’ve seen it more than once is that as we get older we have other responsibilities. And the same will happen for your child, regardless of what you do to share their excitements and first experiences.
The answer is to make time for creative pursuit and teach your child to do the same—teach them that it is important. This time can be spent reading, exploring new hobbies, watching documentaries, or searching for seashells on the coast. Find time for art projects or playing instruments. It’s too easy for life to take over when we ignore this side of ourselves.
4. Embrace the Moment
On the same token, moments for creative expression are not always planned, and sometimes, even if we’re busy, we just have to let them happen. Spontaneity, after all, is intertwined in our creative nature and part of its composition. So sometimes, you just need to let go and let live.
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