How to Raise a Creative Geniusby Alla Berger
In a world of increasing change, children will need to be highly creative to compete. Beyond providing your child with the basic necessities and ensuring he is happy and well-adjusted, many parents hope their child will magically pop out with a creative mind ready to take on the world.
But, creativity and talent need to be nurtured and cared for, just as much as you provide for your kid’s basic physical needs. The mind is a muscle that can be “worked out” just like any other part of your child’s growing body. Here are some ways to help foster creativity in your little one:
1. Limit TV and Video Games
Sitting mindlessly in front a TV or computer screen will do little to expand your child’s mind. Instead, encourage free play time where your child can use their imagination and role play. Structured play is great but kids need to learn what to do with unstructured time, which allows them to discover things on their own and flex their imagination to its limits.
2. Expose Your Child to the Arts
If your child isn’t exposed to the arts at a young age, they may not “stumble” upon it as they get older - as many parents may hope. YOU are the one that needs to initiate this exposure. Take them to museums, art galleries, musicals, concerts, etc. Seeing your creative and inquisitive side will rub off on your child.
3. Be Patient and Allow Your Child to Do It Alone
Allowing your son or daughter to experience as many things as possible is a great stepping stone to becoming creative. Let them participate in daily routines so they gain a sense of belonging. While allowing them to accomplish things on their own may take longer than if you helped out, fostering their independence and creativity will pay off in the end. By giving them the opportunity to participate in gardening, chores, etc. you are building their self-confidence and showing them they are capable of anything they set their minds to. This is an excellent foundation for creativity to grow on.
4. Set Up a “Creative Corner” in Your House
Make a corner in your house that belongs only to your child - on the condition they always clean up after themselves, of course. Provide them with age-appropriate materials like play dough, crayons, paper, pipe cleaners and safety scissors. Your child will be able to work on their artistic ability, use their imagination, perfect their motor skills and feel as if they have their own freedom and space to do it all in.
5. A Little Encouragement Goes a Long Way
If you truly want to nurture your child’s creative mind, then be sure to encourage them no matter what. Instead of being critical of their creative efforts, applaud them for their attempt to express themselves. Listen enthusiastically to their stories and songs and compliment them along the way - even participate, whenever possible. Protect and encourage your child’s natural curiosity and love of exploration so she can grow and develop in wonderful ways.