Creativity abounds! Everywhere we look people are painting, writing, sewing, knitting, baking, and recording music from their homes. Still, there are parents who would like to encourage creativity, but they’re not sure how to go about it. Here are five tips to encourage creativity in your family.
1. NOURISH THE IMAGINATION
The creative home begins with parents who nourish the imaginations of their children. "Without the playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable." ~Carl Jung
2. SAY “YES!”
Say yes to your child whenever possible. Children who hear yes most of the time develop a sense of optimism and self-confidence. Saying yes to my children has, now that they are adults, turned into them saying yes to me. I asked my youngest son, if he would write music to accompany a video I shot. He said yes, and I loved the results. One day he was visiting and suggested going out with our cameras and taking photos, I said, “Yes!” and treasure the photos of that day and our time together. There are so many situations and people throughout life who will say no to your child. Be the voice that says, “Yes!”
LucreciaGuerrero is the author of Tree of Sighs and Chasing Shadows. She writes, "My son Peter Wolf, a visual artist, was always so creative growing up. I simply provided supplies, and he came up with the ideas. Living with him was an unending joy and adventure. We are beginning to collaborate: this March I will read at a university from my novel, and he will design a visual piece for the audience to enjoy."
Angie Ledbetter, artist and photographer, is one of the most creative people I know. She writes: “Rearing children to become creative adults comes from encouraging them to explore the things in which they show interest such as sports, music, art, computer gaming, etc. These and similar activities filled the bulk of my three close-in-age kids’ days around school demands, but I cannot think of anything else that more grows the young imagination than books and library sponsored events. My three young adults today continue to enjoy, develop, and employ their creative natures through leisure pursuits and careers as a special needs teacher, an entrepreneur, and a tech support geek/bookstore gadget expert.”
3. BE PROACTIVE
Don’t wait for the stresses of life to leave you frazzled and questioning your priorities. By practicing creativity within your home you are sowing coping mechanisms within your child’s spirit.
LizThorensen is an artist. She shared this about creating an art space: “From the time our daughter could hold a paint brush, we always had an area wherever we were living that was a dedicated art station. Even when we were in a tiny apartment, she had an easel and as many art supplies as we could afford. Being an ex-art teacher, I gave her projects and allowed her to explore her creativity with many different media. She pursued a business career but is very creative, organized and self-directed and demonstrates creativity in all aspects of her life.”
It is important that when you create a space and time for your child to be creative that you also allow them the freedom to make their own choices.
Lisa Edmond’s daughter Sydney Edmond is a poet and painter. Syd also explores creativity through dance and costumes. Lisa writes: "A person's first creative attempt is their self. If you love and celebrate your child for who they are, they will feel free to express themselves creatively."
4. TEACH YOUR CHILD TO BE ATTENTIVE
Inspiration is most likely to spring from an open, attentive mind. Take your child out for walks in nature or in town and point out all the interesting things to see. Give a camera to your child then, once at home, talk about what the camera “saw.” Children are born with their eyes, heart, and minds wide open. It is up to us to keep them that way.
Andrea Clarke’s daughter, Florentina, brightens the lives of others with her colorful paintings. Andrea told me, “My own writings are inspired through the creative genius of my daughter Florentina; a teen artist with special needs who found her voice through art. She creates daily, getting inspiration from how she sees the world around her.”
5. EMPHASIZE PROCESS, (BUT THE RESULTS MAY BE AWESOME!)
The process of creativity is worthwhile in and of itself. There are no right or wrong ways to attempt a creative project; there are only “successful” and “less-than-successful” outcomes. The creator decides.
Sometimes what begins as a way of seeing the world, or a way of communicating one’s feelings, or a way to spend time together as a family does turn into a way to reach out to the world for those who might otherwise find such reaching a challenge.
Tanya Smith-Mangold is the mother of Kaylin Mangold and writes how art has opened doors for her daughter who has autism: “We discovered our daughter's talent for drawing when she was very young. Kaylin is autistic and was delayed with her speech. She was however, able to draw with great detail what was going on inside of her heart and mind. As she has grown, so has her talent and her creativity. What started as a way of communicating has opened the door for her to be able to use her talents to make a living and to share her work with others.”
By practicing creativity within your home you are sowing coping mechanisms within your child’s spirit, bonding them to you through common interests, and giving them a tool with which to reach out to others and express themselves as unique individuals.
FIVE TIPS TO NURTURE CREATIVITY by @JanicePhelpsLLC http://goo.gl/6HlEqS #Artists #Writing #Creativity
Janice Phelps Williams has worked as a freelance book designer and brought over 250 books to life. She has illustrated 4 children’s books and is currently painting and writing an MG fantasy. Published Books: Sheldon, the Writer by Judy Dulberg; The Belly Button that Escaped by Charles Zigman; Two True Blue Dragons by David Boyce; Still Her Spirit Sings by Robert W. Kurkela.
Want to guest post on The Artist Unleashed?
Click HERE for submission guidelines.