Do you, as a parent or guardian, think that creativity is important? What are the advantages that you see in promoting creativity? What supports you in being creative? Your own views on creativity can shed some light on how and where you position creativity in your child’s life.
1. Start From Yourself
For instance, if the adults in your own childhood intervened consistently in solving any problems or dilemmas that you faced, (even when deep down you believed that you could have handled this yourself), how will this position you when exploring how your child can engage in creative problem solving? What if you were consistently told that you were wasting the time of an important adult in your life when you tried to engage them in playing pretend? I am NOT saying all of this because I believe that if you receive such messages then you cannot tap into your child’s creativity- perhaps on the contrary, such experiences may have taught you the importance of promoting this in your child’s life. I am saying all of this simply because I believe that it is important for us to be aware of our values, ideas, dreams, so that we can better and more consistently communicate these to our child.
2. Stories for Creativity
Stories can take many different shapes and forms. Reading a book to your child can spark your child’s imagination and creativity- your child can find themselves imagining the most elaborate creatures, colorful images, and magical worlds as you read to them. You can also invite your child to tell you what they think happens next in the story, how the different characters can solve the problem, and so on. Stories are also great when role-played, when puppets are used to enact a scene or dialogue, when comic strips are drawn to explain the plot. Your child can invite you to participate, or you can also be a spectator to your child’s play. Both can be highly valuable roles. Be aware of your contributions when participating- when parents are interested and curious, and also observant and encouraging, the child may feel supported to tap further into their creativity.
3. Encourage your child to practice their own problem solving strategies
While playing, children may encounter situations which are tricky and require them to use problem solving strategies. It may be very tempting for parents to resolve any difficulties that the child encounters. However, unless the situation involves risk to the child’s and other people’s safety, you may also invite the child to share what they think could help solve the problem or improve the situation. They could also practice different possible solutions, during which the parent can highlight and praise different resources that the child is using such as patience and persistence.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Rebecca Cassar is a Family Therapist practicing the Systemic Approach. She specializes in offering therapy to families, couples and individuals who are experiencing distress in their relationships. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817.