How can you inspire creativity in your children?

by | Parenting with Courage

In this article on how to inspire creativity in kids, I’ve interviewed a friend and visual artist, Kim Black.  She sells her artwork locally and internationally, gives art lessons to teenagers and adults and is an all-around beautiful woman and mother to three children.

“One of the crucial roles as a parent is to look at our children, hear what they are saying, see what they are doing and help them achieve what God has planted in their hearts.  They are not going to be the same as us. They have their own journey, and that’s what really exciting,” explained Kim.

How can you inspire creativity in your children?

Safe spaces can become creative spaces

If we are to inspire creativity in kids, then we need to give them a safe area.  This means that means that try not to criticise their creativity and we champion them.  We let them know that anything is possible.  According to Kim, “People views and opinions differ in the world.  We don’t all have the same taste, therefore, open their eyes to different things.  Look for creativity and different things in nature and around them, help them see the beauty and simple things wherever they are, whatever culture they are part of.”

Exposure to different forms of creativity in the world around them

Expose your children to experience different types of creativity such as artworks, shows, and plays.  Art is a vast arena.  People are creative in writing and acting. In drawing and painting, design and fashion.  Creativity can be expressed through cooking, through words, through movement and so much more. Inspire your children to see the beauty around them.

Don’t squash their creativity with your words.

Words have the power to create. “Time and time again, I’ve seen teens and adults lack the confidence to explore their creativity because their confidence was squashed from young,” explained Kim.  “Someone could’ve said something such as your drawing didn’t look good or told you that you weren’t creative or writing piece wasn’t great.” 

She explained that when she was 15 and was choosing her subjects in high school, a stand-in art teacher who didn’t know her, asked if she was going to take art to matric.  She then said to Kim that she hoped she wouldn’t.  “She implied I wasn’t good enough.  Fortunately, it drove me to be a better artist.  Art was and is my passion.”

Give them tools to be creative

Give your child tools and help them when they want to draw or write. According to Kim, “let your children be bored because this can spark a new game, a new idea or something creative. Children don’t have to be doing something every second of the day.”

Creativity can build confidence in your child

“I love building confidence in a child, teen or adult,” smiled Kim.  “I use art, because it is visual and it is a process, a child learns so much.  They can see where it is going and I’ve noticed that they sometimes realized what they are capable of.”  The spin-off that their confidence grows and it snowballs from there. It overflows into other areas of their lives, and they then know they could explore other areas in life.  Let them explore being creative, perhaps it will spark something fresh in you as well.

Listen to your children. 

We as parents have to listen to our children and pick up on what they are saying and how they are saying it.  “When my son was nearly 3, and he’s now 23.  I noticed that he was clever with words.  Once he said: ‘look it’s going round and round like a tin opener.’  I thought that’s so clever that he’s identified with something going around. I knew from a young age he was creative.  In fact, he didn’t enjoy art in his primary years because his art teacher had a specific formula. Only later on in school when he was doing the theme of expressionism where they could express themselves that he came into his own.  He learned to express his creativity. To this day he’s not a visual artist but is an animator and web, so he’s a very creative guy. I’m so glad it wasn’t squashed and had a second chance to express creativity.”

What about you?

Most people give up on their dream or on the love of creating because someone else had a remark. Think about your life and the creative ideas or goals you had as a child.  Why don’t you try something new and explore being creative along with your children?  Give yourself a chance just as much as you give them a chance.

See what develops

We don’t always know the end from the beginning.  Keep your eyes and ears open.  When your children express an interest in a creative avenue, do some research.  Empower and release your children to be creative.  It takes courage to parent creatively, but the rewards are worth it. Building creativity in your life boosts their confidence and fills their tanks.

 

Anything you want to add? Drop a comment below!

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