Raising Creative Children

By Kokila Gupta

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Someone has aptly said that creativity is not something reserved for the artists, poets and geniuses, nor is it a bolt of lightning to strike someone, but a way of life. Everyday work performed by everyone becomes creative when it’s conducted with new ideas, optimum precision, zeal and happiness. Then it becomes a choice – a choice to live life the creative way.

Parents often think, creativity is inborn, their child either has it or not, but the truth is, it is as equal a skill as it is a talent, and parents are the catalyst, the first catalyst in children’s creative journey as parents alone can provide a suitable environment to let creativity bloom.

Often, being creative is considered synonymous with having artistic or musical inclinations, which though is not incorrect, yet is not the complete picture either. Creativity is a life skill, basically, brewing up new ideas. It is a core component of a child’s personality which supports development of qualities like flexibility, cheery disposition, optimism, self-appreciation and self-confidence. Creative children perform any task with an eye for details, excitement, thriving for beauty and efficiency. In return they gain satisfaction and enjoyment from the process.

Nowadays, changing social and family dynamics have forced parents to provide children with flashy toys and hi-tech gadgets right from a very early age. This limits a child’s imagination, hindering creativity. We, the modern age parents either become entirely oblivious of our children watching age inappropriate programs, reality shows, playing noisy games, or we over-pamper them like helicopter parents not letting them inhale without sanitizing every breath they take! We need to RELAX and treat them as intelligent people who need just one thing from us – our time. Dr. A. Witham once said, ‘Children spell love… T-I-M-E.”

And No, the time we talk with our sister on the phone about their shenanigans, doesn’t count; nor the time when we shop for them from the costliest place or take them to swanky restaurants for dinner with our friends.

The time we cuddle and play with them, run or are at a swing with them, when we eat together- just we, the child and the food, when we converse with them, converse as in ‘we listen to them and respond accordingly’ not they listen to our, ‘sit straight-eat fasts’… that is the time we actually spend with them. In such moments we create positive memories, build strong emotional bonds -an essential step for children to understand and express themselves.

Limited screen time for children and fixed screen time for parents provides extra hours, relaxed minds and new ideas making simple activities like baking a batch of cookies for guests, folding clothes, or arranging the dinner table as playgrounds of creativity- try new arrangements for all three! Remember, there are no wrong arrangements, just different ones.

We parents do not need to be rich, gifted or well trained; our everyday experiences make us rich, this world full of wonders is our gift, and life, the best training we can have. Feeling excited about being a parent wins us 90% of the task. The best part is, there are no perfect parents, only happy ones.

John Muir once said, ‘ The power of imagination makes us infinite.” So, we must let them imagine and daydream, but ensure they must act too, to make those aspirations come true ; let them explore, introspect, and make them understand that creativity is a source of joy.

When Jim Rohn said, ” The way you do one thing, is the way you do everything” he must have been talking to the moms and dads of the world, because a creative child grows up to be a creative Educator, creative Entrepreneur, a creative Chef, a creative Mommy or a Creative Manager. They uplift and enrich whatever they touch.

To be the catalyst for such amazing development, we parents need to convert our homes into a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, knowledge and play. Our lives must be an amalgamation of acceptance and discipline, routine and liberty…making it a cauldron where ideas simmer and dreams crystallize, where the child can spice up the recipe irrespective of the outcome, then we’ll get a magic potion of creativity sparkling all around us

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