Foster Your Child's Creativity

How To Encourage Creative Potential And Success

Do we not all hope that our children will grow into ambitious, self-sufficient and assertive individuals? What if there was a secret formula that would aid our children achieving success, would we not all strive to obtain it? Well, I believe this formula can be found by helping your child grow and nurture their imaginations and creativity.

Increasing our creative potential during childhood can help to foster a greater self-esteem, self-worth and individuality. Generally, creative people are known to be more autonomous, independent, self-sufficient, emotionally sensitive, self-accepting, assertive, courageous, resourceful, risk-taking and adventurous. Some believe that being creative is something that only some of us are innately born with. However, over the past several decades our ideas about creativity seem to be shifting. We are now under the impression that creativity is defined as a human potential, a capacity within all of us, which we can chose to ignore or not, which means that we are really all innately capable of being creative.

Creating something with our own two hands leads us to sentiments of accomplishment and pride, these feelings are present in us even from the age of two when we draw our first circle or when we colour in our first picture. As we grow, our projects may increase in complexity but the feeling of achievement is remains. Taking nothing and molding it into something allows us to gain confidence. We begin to value our self-worth and individuality the more we create, the more we put our ideas out there, the more we grow creatively.

Perhaps some of us are scared by the word creativity because it is often associated with artistic abilities, however, creativity and artistic ability are not necessarily a complementary pair. One can be extremely creative in something and yet have no idea how to hold a paintbrush. We can be creative in our finances, in sports, in problem solving, in writing and even in gardening. Creativity is about bringing something new and unique into existence. Helping to develop your child's imagination can encourage their capacity for being ambitious. If we support our child's imagination it can help them to be able to visualize a future for themselves, it leads to increasing their ambition because they are able to picture the life they may be able to create. If we have wild imaginations, this in turn leads us into thinking outside the box, which allows us to foresee ideas and goals for our future (realistic or not), regardless - just the mere notion of envisioning helps to create ambition.

Ambition is about a desire for success or a desire to complete a set objective/goal and increasing our imagination can help us to envision our desires, picture our future and visualize ourselves completing goals. For an adult who does not feel creative how do we encourage and grow this within our child? It may seem like a daunting exercise but it is really about our attitudes.

Promoting your child's creativity is about having a “permissive” attitude; do not pass judgment on their creations. Creativity can flourish when we have an inner sense about what is right for us as individuals.

Enrolling your child in classes, where they gain knowledge about expressing themselves as opposed to learning new skills. Whether it is art based, playing sports or gardening; as long we encourage children to express themselves creatively, the sky becomes limitless and we help children to imagine ambitious futures. Let your child grow creatively, push their imaginations and watch them grow into determined, independent, self-sufficient, assertive, courageous individuals.

Nikki Goldman Stroh is currently the owner/director of Seasons Family Centre. She completed a diploma in photography at Fanshawe College, followed by a degree in psychology at the University of Western Ontario. Shortly after she finished a post-graduate diploma at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. Over the next few years she extended her education through various courses in psychology, counselling and play therapy at George Brown College, Hincks Delcrest and Cross Country Education.

For the past several years Nikki has been running art programs all across the city of Toronto at various schools, community centres, libraries and private homes. She also runs play therapy groups at Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Offices and Applegrove Community Complex as well as private art therapy sessions.