We want our kids to be plenty of things - hard-working, good at making friends, and most of all, happy. But there's one thing that parents overlook when they're trying to encourage particular qualities in their children, and that's creativity.
Creativity isn't only useful for their art class. It can help them to find jobs within the creative industry, improve their imagination, and even allow them to empathise with other people. Being not only creative but open-minded in general is an often overlooked quality, but it's actually hugely important.
Read on to find out five key ways you can unleash your child's inner creative streak.
Tips for Helping Your Child to Be More Creative
1. Read to them
One of the best ways to give your child a better imagination and help them to become curious about the world around them is to read to them. Reading is also a great way to encourage empathy, as the act of reading a book encourages us to try and relate to the characters in question by putting ourselves in their shoes.
When your child is old enough, engage their creative side by encouraging them to write stories of their own using their imagination. That means writing things not just about topics, people, and places they're already familiar with, but people and places they think of themselves.
2. Give them a space to be creative
An effective way of encouraging kids to be more creative is by actually providing them with a space in which to do it - ideally a private space where they can express their innermost thoughts and feelings through tasks like writing and drawing.
Buying your child a children's desk can make sure they always have a creative sanctuary to come back to at the end of the day, that's comfortable and encourages them to take part in activities such as painting or writing stories.
If you homeschool your child as a way to educate them outside of traditional systems, getting the right equipment, such as a desk for homeschooling, creates a space they'll actually enjoy working in.
3. Teach them to ask questions
Often, we can feel frustrated with our children when they ask too many questions, especially when we're in the middle of an important task and don't want to be disrupted.
Questions, however, are an important way of your child not only expressing their personality, but finding out more about topics and people they're interested in.
If you feel yourself too busy to answer your child's question the next time they have one, tell them you'll come back to it and set aside some time to answer their question properly. Otherwise, they might feel encouraged to be less curious.
It's also worth giving them access to plenty of books and other materials that they can scour through to find answers to their questions independently. You may or may not feel comfortable giving them internet access, but don't forget to put child safety measures in place if you decide to.
4. Encourage them to follow their interests
We sometimes have pre-concieved ideas of the activities we'd like our children to take part in or the path we'd like them to follow. While there's nothing wrong with having hopes and dreams for your kids, it's just as important to respect their hopes and dreams and allow them to follow their interests.
Maybe you'd hoped they'd be into football but they prefer tennis? The best course of action is to be just as excited about it as though it were football. That way, you won't make any hobbies or interests feel scary or off-limits, which can discourage kids from doing things they really want to.
5. Spend time outside
If you can't get outside to exercise during bad weather, avoid encouraging a sedentary lifestyle in your child by invest in a around them. Regular exercise is great, too, as not only is it beneficial physically, but it can also support your child''s mental health and get their brain juices flowing.
If you can't get outside to exercise during bad weather, avoid encouraging a sedentary lifestyle in your child by invest in a standing desk or a height adjustable desk, so they can walk, stretch, or stand up, even when doing schoolwork or fun creative play.
Creativity - the Secret Weapon to Success
Instilling an open mind, strong imagination, and curiosity towards the world is key for a child that's not only content, but successful, too, both in childhood and adulthood.
By giving children a space of their own in which they can connect to their creative side as well as teaching them to always take an open-minded approach to people and situations.