How to Kill Creativity--5 Easy Steps #31days #createwkids

5:30:00 AM

There are a lot of ways to be creative with your child:

…make up stories…
…play with playdough…
…have fun with legos…

I can keep going. I actually will, with more ideas this month. But there are only a few ways to nip creativity in the bud.

Belittle your child’s efforts…or your own.
Each are equally damaging to the creative process. I’m not saying don’t try to improve, or help your child improve, but tearing down confidence is not helpful. And your child needs to see you taking pride in your own efforts. Enough said.

Not try.
The only way to ensure that you will not succeed is to never try at all.

Give up when you haven’t done your best.
My kindergartener has a tendency to give up if she doesn’t know how to do something or if she doesn’t succeed the first time. I’ve been emphasizing that as long as she keeps trying, her effort is enough, especially when we are being creative. I know she doesn’t know how to draw a pony, but I know when she has spent time on a drawing, she has done her best.

Set expectations too high.
My oldest would love to learn how to crochet. I have sat down with her a couple of times to teach her, but I sat down with the knowledge that her motor skills weren’t ready for this. We worked at it for a few minutes, and when she was ready to move on, we moved on to another activity. No pressure, little commitment, but quality time spent. As long as everyone is doing their best, there is no reason to worry. I don’t expect my children (ages 2, 2, and 5) to churn out Mona Lisas. I expect them to express themselves.

Be upset when your child does better than you.
I can remember an old Cosby Show episode where Claire and Denise took a pottery class together. If you don’t remember this episode, you can see it on this clip. The gist: Denise had a beautiful vase that she had made; Claire’s was misshapen. We each have our own skills and talents, and both Claire and Denise had done their best. Enjoy the time together, and revel in each other’s success.

I’m not saying that I avoid these pitfalls. Far from it.  Perhaps I speak from experience…but I won’t admit it. But if you want to kill creativity in a child, well, you know what to do now. I hope that you’re reading this series to bring creativity to light, though. J

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P.S. Want to see more of this 31 Days Challenge? Check out all the 31 Days of Creating with Kids!

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