How to Raise A Creative Child
We absolutely without a shadow of a doubt need creative kids in the world. Why? Kids who aren’t creative become adults who conform. And my friends, conformity is dangerous. Conformity is the act of behaving like others in order to fit into a particular group. How then will our children’s generation carry the torch to move the world forward with conformed behavior. How will they fulfill their purpose and full potential if they are not encouraged to be creative? Changes in the world begin with young children who are nurtured and raised to be creative. They become the adult Einsteins of the world who challenge or create new perspectives of thought and action. What do these people who change the world do differently or better yet , what do they all have in common? One of the biggest things is they are raised to be creative children.
From the moment I laid eyes on her, I knew Amira would march by the beat of her own drums. On a Saturday evening, while eating dinner at Rafferty’s she made her presence known. Unexpectedly, my water broke three weeks early. Doctors worried that she would have delays due to her low birth weight and early arrival. However, my type A personality latched on immediately and met all of her pediatric evaluation standards. I will never forget her pediatrician, Dr. Ragland, telling me she is a force to be reckoned with. Mom, you will have to allow her the freedom to be who she is and creatively roam because she’s full of fire. I’ve done just that with a little guidance from her. Here’s my advice on raising a creative child….
ENGAGE WITH THEIR PREFERENCE
I can proudly say since Amira has entered the world we have done our best to expose her to everything we possibly could. At age 1, she began music lessons with the Aardvarks, ballet at 2, art camps, acting lessons, violin lessons, coding camps, photography classes at Apple, swimming lessons, gymnastics, science experiments and more. Our goal with exposing her to the arts was to help her discover what she loves and what she hates. It’s important as parents to allow our children to roam creatively to help them find their way. We now engage her with what she prefers. We’ve learned how she adapts to new situations, what she is really passionate about, and how to best nurture her innate talents. I could desire ballet for Amira because it’s so graceful yet she really wants to dance contemporary and hip hop. It makes her extremely happy and confident. Her light shines so bright when she is engaged with her preference of dance. As parents, we have to learn how to best care for their creativity. It begins by not forcing our desires on their life. The other important lesson is ensuring they have artistic hobbies to channel all of that gigantic energy towards.
VALUES OVER RULES
Let’s go back to the idea of conformity. I will particularly discuss conformity with creative children and parenting. I knew very early on with Amira who she was and what her personality and learning behavior would look like. She daydreamed, colored outside of the lines, danced non stop, and was and remains a “Why?” child. With anything I taught her, she asked Why whether it was ideals, religion, rules, death, she wanted to know the reason behind it or else she needed to discover more. I became really inspired by her need to not follow but lead in her own thoughts. I could not just lay out rules and enforce my thoughts and ideas on her life and values. Her innovative spirit burning brighter than ever had birthed her own little creative revolution. I watch her now and notice she is imagining her future daily with her own values.
It’s critical as parents to be weary of enforcing harsh rules that don’t allow them to think for themselves. Kids will grow up basically trying to please adults, conforming and not challenging some of our outdated ideals. Creative kids who grow up conforming essentially inhibit personal growth, harbor in channeling themselves, and possibly making major contributions to the world in which we may need.
BE THE INSTITUTION TO SERVE YOUR CREATIVE CHILD
As parents, we have a unique position and role in our children’s lives. We are their first teachers. Our responsibility is show our creative children that something is needed of them in this world. We then should do everything in our power to create the environment for their gifts and dreams to be nurtured and realized. The educational system for the most part is outdated and not designed for today’s children. It’s a system designed with repetitive auditory methodologies and systems that are jam packed with cluttered curriculums and paperwork. Hello, surge of ADD/ADHD diagnosis.
Last year, I had to come face to face with Amira’s preferred learning methods. The school system wasn’t fostering her needs and allowing her to reach her full potential. It was time as her mother to better serve her creative spirit to question, wonder, explore, imagine, debate, get messy and create. Amira needed plenty of opportunities to engage in hands on relevant learning because she isn’t an auditory learner. Sitting at a desk for hours watching a teacher stand at a board and recite information to her over and over was direct opposition to her learning style as a creative child. Instead of pressuring her to not make any C’s, I began to develop my own curriculum at home to ensure she was mastering the techniques in a way that she learned better. We also began to use outside resources to specialize a unique and individual curriculum at home. My creative child is a well rounded kid who loves robotics, coding, art, dance, video editing and photography. All of these are not included in her public school curriculum. So I became the institution to serve her fiery creative spirit better.