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5 Ways You May Be Squashing Your Child’s Creativity

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5 Ways You May Be Squashing Your Child’s Creativity

Everyone has heard of the artist Picasso. He was a modern artist that most remember for his unusual portraits of people that used strange colors. Now, Picasso could paint very realistic portraits and scenes but chose not to. He wanted to be expressive and have fun painting without worrying about if his painting was “correct” or not. One of my favorite quotes from Picasso is this: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” I could not agree more!

A recent blog I read by Amir Kurtovic said this: “According to (a) study, the future of jobs belongs to roles that rely on soft skills such as communication, social intelligence and creativity, skills that are hard to quantify or replicate my machines or software.” This has huge implications on your children and mine! This means that our children will need creativity to thrive in the future workplace.

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Now, for those of you who are parents, what about your child’s creativity? Do you foster it or hinder it? Well, you may be suppressing it without even knowing.

As parents, we want our children to grow and thrive intellectually as well as socially, physically, emotionally, and creatively — you know, those “soft skills” mentioned earlier. It is vital for a child to have that creative outlet. We want them to express themselves and explore. Children are naturally bent towards these things. Allowing a child to be expressive is key for their development. It affects almost every aspect of their growth.

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So, what actually hinders their creativity?

1. You don’t allow messes.

Children need to be able to make messes. That is part of them seeing how things fit together and work. They need to be able to cut, glue, take apart, and put things together their way. One of the best suggestions I can give you is to get a box or bucket and fill it with odd items: glue sticks, paper scraps, leftover bottle tops, toothpicks, markers, odd stickers, wires, and other objects from around the house or in drawers. Allow them to explore and use these items creatively — with safety in mind, of course.

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2. You structure your children’s activities too much.

We tend to overschedule our children’s free time. Soccer, t-ball, dance class, swim lessons — these are all good. Just remember to leave time for children to actually play. It is during play where the mind is allowed freedom and children learn to make connections.

3. You encourage too much screen time.

Children need downtime from electronics (we all do, actually). They need outdoor exploration time too. They need to get dirty, climb trees, dig in the dirt, collect leaves and rocks, and interact with bugs, frogs, and lizards, without it being “icky.” Being outside does wonders for the human body and mind. It connects us to the world we live in.

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4. You give them limited choices.

We give our children choices all the time. We give them two or three choices for snacks, give them two choices for which outfit to wear, etc. It is good to actually let them come up with their own ideas on what to eat. My daughter chose apples with ketsup the other day. On the inside, I cringed — but she ate every bite! Okay, so she ate the apple, that was all I really wanted her to do — mission accomplished! Allowing children open-ended responses will sometimes give them a new experience you had not previously thought of.

5. You correct their creativity.

As an art teacher, this one really gets me! Roses are not always red, the sky is not always blue, and the grass is not always green. Allow children to really have fun when they color or paint. Even if the ground is not normally orange with blue polka dots and dogs are not purple with yellow stars, it is not harmful for a child to color this way. In fact, allowing them to express themselves in this way may just prove beneficial for their future career!

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Featured photo credit: Mike Petrucci via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on January 5, 2022

How to Help Your Child to Get Better Grades

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How to Help Your Child to Get Better Grades

Children are most likely to say that they want to just lounge around or rest for a while after spending hours listening to lecture after lecture from their teachers. There is nothing wrong with this if they had a rough day.

What’s disturbing, is if they deliberately stay away from schoolwork or procrastinate when it comes to reviewing for their tests or completing an important science project.

When it seems that it is becoming a habit for your child to put off school work, it’s time for you to step in and help your child develop good study habits to get better grades. It is important for you to emphasize to your child the importance of setting priorities early in life. Don’t wait for them to flunk their tests, or worse, fail in their subjects before you talk to them about it.

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You can help your children hurdle their tests with these 7 tips:

1. Help them set targets

Ask your child what they want to achieve for that particular school year. Tell them to set a specific goal or target. If they say, “I want to get better grades,” tell them to be more specific. It will be better if they say they want to get a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Having a definite target will make it easier for them to undertake a series of actions to achieve their goals, instead of just “shooting for the moon.”

2. Preparation is key

At the start of the school year, teachers provide an outline of a subject’s scope along with a reading list and other course requirements. Make sure that your child has all the materials they need for these course requirements. Having these materials on hand will make sure that your child will have no reason to procrastinate and give them the opportunity to study in advance.

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3. Teach them to mark important dates

You may opt to give them a small notebook where they can jot down important dates or a planner that has dates where they can list their schedule. Ask them to show this to you so you can give them “gentle reminders” to block off the whole week before the dates of an exam. During this week, advise your child to not schedule any social activity so they can concentrate on studying.

4. Schedule regular study time

Encourage your child to set aside at least two hours every day to go through their lessons. This will help them remember the lectures for the day and understand the concepts they were taught. They should be encouraged to spend more time on subjects or concepts that they do not understand.

5. Get help

Some kids find it hard to digest or absorb mathematical or scientific concepts. Ask your child if they are having difficulties with their subjects and if they would like to seek the help of a tutor. There is nothing wrong in asking for the assistance of a tutor who can explain complex subjects.

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6. Schedule some “downtime”

Your child needs to relax from time to time. During his break, you can consider bringing your child to the nearest mall or grocery store and get them a treat. You may play board games with them during their downtime. The idea is to take his mind off studying for a limited period of time.

7. Reward your child

If your child achieves their goals for the school year, you may give them a reward such as buying them the gadget they have always wanted or allowing them to vacation wherever they want. By doing this, you are telling your child that hard work does pay off.

Conclusion

You need to take the time to monitor your child’s performance in school. Your guidance is essential to helping your child realize the need to prioritize their school activities. As a parent, your ultimate goal is to expose your child to habits that will lay down the groundwork for their future success.

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Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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