How to Raise a Creative Child
Creativity isn’t something that can be forced onto children. There are no specific rules or tips to follow to ensure children focus on expanding their imagination and creativity.
Why is it that many child prodigies end up failing in their areas of expertise? Or abandoning them for other activities and pursuits? So often, when children are taught at an early age that they are special, whether it be in the field of arts, academics, or athletics, they become prone to the idea of success and victory. Becoming accustomed to success may lead children to feel as though they deserve success, and due to this, lack motivation to continue putting effort into their area of ‘expertise’. One of the worst possible things to see in children is a slow regression into losing motivation to try. Effort and hard work are integral in helping kids grow into motivated and hard-working individuals, who do not give up easily, nor do they lose sight of their dreams.
The argument lies that success is more often than not fuelled by passion. Passion is hardly ever something that is taught or enforced through diligent practice and upbringing, but rather something that is discovered through curiosity and personal interest.
Creativity isn’t something that can be forced onto children. There are no specific rules or tips to follow to ensure children focus on expanding their imagination and creativity. On the contrary, allowing your children to follow as little rules as possible will allow them to develop a wider imagination, and become more in-tune with their own creativity and mental capability. In an increasingly competitive world, being skilled in a particular field no longer guarantees a job or success; rather it’s creativity and ingenuity in otherwise regular fields of work that often yields great success.
The best way to foster creativity in children is to allow them to think for themselves. Children who are disciplined while encouraged to think for themselves and make decisions based on their own thoughts and interests tend to become more creative as adults. Freedom and individuality of the mind is integral, not just in developing characteristics, but in helping instil a sense of individuality and uniqueness in the child at an early age.
This sense of individuality will not only help children find their own interests and passions at an earlier age, it will help them respond to life’s challenges and opportunities in their own unique way.
For example, some children may cope with stress or uncomfortable situations by expressing themselves artistically, through drawing or writing, and others may prefer athletic options. Allowing children to discover their own coping mechanisms and reactions to different types of situations at an early age is largely impacted by how rigidly their parents enforce their ideals upon them.
Step One: Back Off
There is also the argument that the more pressure a child faces to succeed, the less they will enjoy the activity at hand. Since enjoyment is integral in motivating the child to put forth effort and dedication to the activity, the more pressure they face, the less they will want to perform well in the activity, in turn veering them much off the course
Research has found that most children who grow up to be creative adults, from fields of music, art, athletics, even science, weren’t forced to follow strict rules and directions from their parents. Of course, rules and discipline are an important aspect of raising children, and should not be neglected, but they also shouldn’t be so diligently enforced by the parents that the child is left with no freethinking capacities at all.
If you want your children to bring original ideas into the world, you need to let them pursue their passions, not yours.
Everyone wants the best for their child: for them to succeed, be ambitious, and not give up easily. This desire for the wellbeing of one’s child may often overpower the consideration that a child, although a child, does have the ability to discover their own interests and passions. Even at an early age, children are incredibly curious and are constantly exploring different things and activities they have interests in.
It’s important to remember that you can’t force talent. You can encourage it when you see your child displaying interest, but forcing your child to excel in an area they hardly care about will only result in wasted efforts and money. The best possible course of action is to allow your children to explore their interests at their own pace, and encourage a sense of direction and commitment when they display interest in a specific field.
After all, children are children, and their malleable and easily influenced brains may easily pick up on their parents forced sense of direction, but such actions will only teach them to follow the path set by them, and rid them of developing a sense of control and leadership of their own life.