Nurturing your Child's Creative Spirit
The importance of your child's creativity (as well as your own, by the way) cannot be overstated.
You can think of it like this,
When your child is creating, the billions of neurons and its many synapses in her brain are growing beautiful and wild...setting her up for a future that is bright with creative problem-solving, emotional and mental flexibility and a fluent language for speaking the Language of her Soul.
But we must remember,
Creativity is not something you control, but rather something you allow.
Young children don't need to learn this. They come into this lifetime already quite wise in this.
[image description: young boy in the creative flow, making colorful marks on a page with watercolors]
It is our task as their caregivers to nurture and protect these dear creative spirits from creative wounding and the development of a harsh Inner Art Critic.
As your child grows up continuing to allow their creativity to come through, they are opening themselves to the many endless gifts and messages from the Universe and from their Guides (Higher Self, Guardian Angels, Ancestors and other Helpers)
So what can you do to encourage and support your child's creative side?
Encourage a positive creative encounter!
Remember, creativity is not just about the product! The creative process is where all of the beautiful growing and connections take place. Nurture their experience with this guidance:
Creativity comes in all forms. We often think of art-making as creative (which it is) but let's not forget that there are many other expressions of creativity. Wherever there is play there is creativity. Whether it's lego-building, dance routines, playing that squeaky recorder, or enacting a princess or a ninja... these are all creative acts to be celebrated and encouraged (even if they kinda hurt our ears)
[image description: young child playing on a drumset]
Prioritize Creative Time. Send your child the message that their creativity is a priority by setting aside time in the day for creative endeavors. For younger, play-filled children this may be no difficulty at all. If screen-time is also a regular part of your child's day, I suggest that creative projects occur before-hand, so that your child's ideas are coming from an Inner Source, rather than influenced by what they've seen on the screen.
Create a Special Space. Just like I recommend for adults to create a safe and sacred space for their creativity, these habits can be developed in your children early on with your support. You don't need to have an entire room or piece of furniture for them. Even a special object like a blanket that you can roll out, or special art supplies will do. Whenever I bring out and share my "fancy markers" with my boys it feels like a special treat. And it is for all of us!
Create Together (when you can!). Believe me, I know that not everyone has time for this! But if you are able to prioritize your creative time it will be such a reward for both you and your children when you share a page, dance to the same song, or both bang on the drums. Your child will get to add to the list of brain synapses some strong and rewarding associations of connection and love with these creative encounters.
A fun and easy prompt is to share a page and take turns adding marks and embellishing the image. Here's one I did with the whole family:
[image description: colorful oil pastel drawing]
Model a Healthy Creative Self. Your child is watching and listening, and when they hear you say "I can't draw" or "I'm not creative", they are learning how to talk to themselves too. Too often I've watched my child clients mimick their parents self-criticism until they actually believe it's true. Remember that when you nurture your own Creative Spirit with kindness and forgiveness, little eyes are watching and learning too: both your child's AND your Inner Child's!
Adrienne Cress is a Registered Expressive Arts therapist as well as the parent of two budding creatives. Creativity is her daily spiritual practice. She is all about self expression and she delights in holding space for others to connect with their Inner Artists.
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