Young Creative Pursuit: Four Ways To Harness Child Creativity

Dr. Purushothaman
November 26, 2013


What parent doesn't have a small part of them that wants their child to be one of history's greats—whether they end up excelling in sports, art, or music? While we try not to push them to irrational extremes, we want the best for them, and it is an honorable pursuit to help a child unlock their greatest gifts, to find their passions and areas of excellence. While there are parents out there who might take this pursuit a bit too seriously, in most cases, this type of self-exploration is very positive for your child's personal development.
Creativity is not to be controlled too much if it is to be properly developed. You don't want to push too hard; rather, you want to know how best to encourage engagement and then step back and let things run their course. Here are some ways you can help your child find their flow.
1. Back Off
While this seems to go against getting involved in your child's creative development, one of the best things to do is allow your child the space to be creative and not be there controlling the situation. Proper creativity is free to branch out, even, or especially, in the face of "doing it right."
In fact, it is often best to give your child complete solitude while they are being creative. Being creative together has its rewards, and those moments are fine, but be aware that your child will act differently under your watchful eye and their creativity may be hindered by observation.
Give them the right environment and a few nudges, and then let them be.
2. Make the Time
I am a big believer in giving children the right pushes in the right places and teaching them discipline and hard work gets you what you want in life. But at the same time, you don't want your child's life to be over-structured.
Make sure to plan time that is just empty for letting loose and trying interesting new pursuits or even doing nothing at all. Running around in a hyper frenzy can be just as healthy as any other creative endeavor.
3. Take Creativity Seriously
As your child gets older, talk to them about the importance of hobbies and passions in life, and teach them to take the pursuit of these things seriously. Allow them ample time to figure out what inspires them the most, and then teach them to be diligent about practicing or honing their craft. Let them try many different things or branch out to find what really moves them.
Passion plants the seeds of excellence.
4. Value Originality over Excellence
Speaking of excelling, the creative process itself is much more important than creating something magnificent, and mistakes and failures are all part of a child's experimentation as they learn. Give them room for this and do not judge what they create. Encourage originality and out-of-the box thinking, and tell them stories about great people who were great because they were different.
Creativity is one of the most under-valued resources known to mankind, and without it, we would have nothing. Will your child be a creator? Follow some of these simple guidelines and use some of your own creativity to find the best ways to bring out the best in your child.

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