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Fostering Creativity in Your Kids

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Creativity is a talent that all kids have. An inborn talent, creativity needs to be fostered by parents because it will help a child succeed in life. A key to success in life, and overall health and happiness, is being creative.

Math, science, art, music and reading all have an element of creativity in them.

When a child's creativity is encouraged, it allows the child to be:

  • Better at problem solving

  • Able to adopt new technologies

  • Deal with change

These are all traits that can be carried well into a child's career and throughout adulthood. Parents that aren't creative can still help their child be creative in several ways:

1. Encourage the Arts and Reading

It's all too easy to sit in front of the television and space out. Kids will emulate the actions of their parents and peers, so it's not uncommon to see kids on phones (even at a very young age), sitting in front of the television or playing on tablets.

There's room for all of these activities, but mom and dad need to also encourage their child to:

  • Read books

  • Learn to draw

  • Write

You can also teach your child to act or be creative and imaginative in other ways.

2. Allow Kids to Make Mistakes

Kids will make mistakes. Failure is a part of life, and while your child's giraffe or rendition of Mozart may not be perfect, this doesn't mean that judgment should be made. Children need to be encouraged to make mistakes.

When a child is fearful of making mistakes or failing, their creativity will be locked away.

Here's a good way to make mistakes and failure less of a concern: tell your child about the mistakes you've made. You'll also want to teach your child how to laugh at her own mistakes.

It's always better to laugh at the situation than to criticize creativity.

3. Decorate a Room for Creativity

Rooms must be decorated with your child in mind. If a room, or the entire home, revolves around fostering creativity, it's going to make creativity a part of your child's life. There are a variety of ideas here, and these vary greatly.

If your child likes art, hire a painting contractor to paint a chalkboard wall in their room. These walls allow children to express creativity through art or writing.

Creative spaces can be made that have room for silence, drawing, singing, music or anything that your child is interested in.

4. Don't Be Demanding and Don't Reward Creativity

Parents make mistakes. A major mistake is interfering with the creative process that your child has already. You want to foster creativity, but when you become bossy, your child will quickly lose his or her creativity.

This means not forcing anything on your child.

Rewarding creativity is also another big mistake that parents make. When a reward is associated with being creative, it will interfere with the creative process. Kids will do the following when offered a reward:

  • Force perfection

  • Question their art form

  • Reduce their thought flexibility

Creativity deserves to be free from constraints. A reward, while a nice gesture, is a form of constraint that will negatively impact a child's ability to grow creatively.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.