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5 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Become an Artist

5 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Become an Artist

We can’t all be artists, but we all have a potential for it, and if that potential is adequately nurtured it can flourish into something beautiful. You can never expect your child to become an artistic genius on his or her own. But if you provide enough motivation and support, you can successfully nurture your child to become a minor online celebrity.

Art is just like any other skill, it must be honed, and if you are talented the learning process is easier, but even without talent, a child can become an artist with enough practice and encouragement. So, here are five ways to help your children become accomplished artists in the future.

1. Provide inspiration

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    Children do not like to follow instructions – they like to explore and find what they like on their own. So, the best thing you can do is affect their environment and hope they will find something interesting that they would like to replicate. You can play different types of music to see whether they like what they hear, you can leave some comic books on the shelves and see if they are interested in reading, or you can decorate your walls with paintings.

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    Another thing you can do is provide your kids with the right tools, and if they are inspired by the art that surrounds them, they can immediately start to channel their creativity. So, make sure you have quality pens for drawing or brushes for painting, or you can buy a couple of instruments like a xylophone.

    It’s important to remember that even if your child is not particularly good at drawing, painting or playing an instrument, you should be glad that he or she has interest for it, and nurture that desire properly.

    2. Teach your child how to draw

    Sometimes children can be discouraged from pursuing their passion because it seemed difficult on their first attempt. Luckily, there are ways to tutor your children even if you are not a professional. There are various cool things to draw that are really easy, and you can teach your kid how to draw fairly quickly.

    Once the kid sees that it is easy and that he or she is good at it, there will be no hindrance to pursuit this passion. Of course, these are mostly basic cartoonish pictures, and it can’t be said that they have outstanding artistic value, but they will serve as perfect encouragement, and as a basis for future artistic endeavors.

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    Besides, even if your kid doesn’t become the next Picasso or Da Vinci, knowing how to draw can be helpful for finding a good job in the future. Graphic design is one of the most requested skills nowadays, because there are tons of tech firms that develop applications and video games, and these products require quality graphic design. Also the child can design logos, book covers, music album covers etc. Meaning, it’s definitely a useful skill to have.

    3. Coloring books

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      Your kid might be too young to draw or play an instrument, since it lacks a firm hand grip and coordination. However, your kid can still color and that can be a good hobby as well. Coloring will help your kid develop better color recognition, it is relaxing and, most importantly, it can inspire the child to draw once he or she feels more confident. You can either buy a coloring book and crayons so that your child can use them during play time, or you can download a coloring book or a coloring pages app from the app store.

      The app can be a better solution for beginners, since correcting mistakes and the whole act of coloring is way easier and precise, but in order for kids to develop better hand coordination, coloring with crayons is far better. Make sure you play some soothing background music, so that the whole act of coloring is more immersive and the child will grow to like it even more.

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      4. Lego blocks

      Assuming your kid is not interested in drawing, painting, sculpting or playing music, it still doesn’t mean he or she won’t become an artist. Did you know that there is museum of art that features figures made entirely out of Lego blocks? Maybe there is a creative architect lying dormant within your kid, and Lego blocks are a perfect way to tap into that hidden potential. Legos are used in many schools to teach kids some basics of math, reading and following instructions, and to teach them how to collaborate.

      Even though Legos usually come with an instruction manual, they also give your kids a lot of freedom to experiment and build on their own. They can create all sorts of sculptures, buildings, and even worlds if they have enough Legos to pull it off. Additionally, playing with Legos can help children improve their visualization skills, since they are creating something that is three-dimensional.

      As mentioned, it’s great for expressing themselves, for allowing their imagination to come to life, and to mold them into an accomplished architect one day.

      5. Give them more freedom

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        Lastly, you should never pressure you kids to be artistic, because it destroys the whole concept of art. You need to give them freedom and be supportive, you need to allow them to discover what they like to create. Maybe they love building sand or snow sculptures, maybe they love to come up with stories and write, or maybe they love to dance.

        There are many forms of art nowadays, and even new forms can come to life, because creativity knows no bounds. Art needs to be liberating, it needs to serve as a catharsis, therefore it is not to be forced out, it is only there to be admired, if it resonates with you in the right way.  Regardless of what your child creates – it doesn’t matter what it looks like – the most important thing to ask yourself is how it makes you feel.

        Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@leorivasmicoud via unsplash.com

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        Djordje Todorovic

        Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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        Published on December 14, 2018

        14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All

        14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All

        According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 27% of children under the age of 18 are living with a single parent.[1] That’s over 1/4th of the U.S. population.There is a common misconception that children who grow up in single parent homes are not as successful as children living in two-parent homes.

        One crucial detail that was often left out of studies when comparing single and two-parent homes was the stability of the household. There is a correlation between family structure and family stability, but this study shows that children who grow up in stable single-parent homes do as well as those in married households in terms of academic abilities and behavior.

        But providing stability is easier said than done. With only one adult to act as a parent, some tasks are inherently more challenging. However, there are a few helpful things you can do to make the parenting journey a little easier for yourself and stay sane while doing it.

        1. Don’t Neglect Self-Care

        Before anything else can be done, you must be caring for your own needs adequately. Only when you are feeling well-rested and healthy can you be at your best for your children.

        Many parents tend to put their kids’ needs first and their owns last, but that will result in a never-ending cycle of exhaustion and feelings of inadequacy. Make time to eat regularly and healthfully, get plenty of rest, and squeeze in exercise whenever you can. Even a short walk around the neighborhood will help your body get much-needed movement and fresh air.

        Your children depend on you, and it’s up to you to make sure that you are well-equipped and ready to take on that responsibility.

        2. Join Forces with Other Single Parents

        At times, it may seem like you’re the only person who knows what it’s like to be a single parent. However, the statistics say that there are many others who know exactly what you’re going through.

        Find single parents locally, through your kid’s school, extracurricular activities, or even an app. There are also numerous online communities that can offer support and advice, through Facebook or sites like Single Mom Nation.

        Although single moms make up the majority of single parents, there are more than 2.6 million single dads in the U.S. A great way to connect is through Meetup. Other single parents will more than happy to arrange babysitting swaps, playdates, and carpools.

        Join forces in order to form mutually beneficial relationships.

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        3. Build a Community

        In addition to finding support with other single parents, also build a community comprised of families of all different types. Rather than focus solely on the single parent aspect of your identity, look for parents and kids who share other things in common.

        Join a playgroup, get plugged in at a church, or get to know the parents of the kids involved in the same extracurricular activities. Having a community of a variety of people and families will bring diversity and excitement into your and your kids’ lives.

        4. Accept Help

        Don’t try to be a superhero and do it all yourself. There are probably people in your life who care about you and your kids and want to help you. Let them know what types of things would be most appreciated, whether it’s bringing meals once a week, helping with rides to school, or giving you time to yourself.

        There is no shame in asking for help and accepting assistance from loved ones. You will not be perceived as weak or incompetent. You are being a good parent by being resourceful and allowing others to give you a much-needed break.

        5. Get Creative with Childcare

        Raising a child on a single income is a challenge, with the high cost of daycares, nannies, and other conventional childcare services. More affordable options are possible if you go a less traditional route.

        If you have space and live in a college town, offer a college student housing in exchange for regular childcare. Or swap kids with other single parents so that your kids have friends to play with while the parents get time to themselves.

        When I was younger, my parents had a group of five family friends, and all of the children would rotate to a different house each day of the week, during the summer months. The kids would have a great time playing with each other, and the parents’ job becomes a lot easier. That’s what you would call a win-win situation.

        6. Plan Ahead for Emergencies

        As a single parent, a backup plan or two is a must in emergency situations. Make a list of people you know you can call in a moment’s notice. There will be times in which you need help, and it’s important to know ahead of time who you can rely on.

        Look into whether or not your area offers emergency babysitting services or a drop-in daycare. Knowing who will be able to care for your child in the event of an emergency can relieve one potential source of anxiety in stressful situations.

        7. Create a Routine

        Routines are crucial for young children because knowing what to expect gives them a semblance of control. This is even more important when in a single parent home.

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        If the child travels between homes or has multiple caretakers, life can seem extremely chaotic and unpredictable. Establish a routine and schedule for your child as much as possible. This can include bedtime, before/after school, chores, meal times, and even a weekend routine.

        Having a routine does not mean things cannot change. It is merely a default schedule to fall back on when no additional events or activities are going on. When your children know what to expect, they will be less resistant because they know what to expect, and days will run much more smoothly.

        8. Be Consistent with Rules and Discipline

        If your child has multiple caretakers, such as another parent, grandparent, or babysitter, communicate clearly on how discipline will be handled. Talk to your ex, if you are sharing custody, as well as any other caretakers about the rules and the agreed-upon approach to discipline.

        When a child realizes that certain rules can be bent with certain people, he/she will use it to their advantage, causing additional issues with limits, behavior, and discipline down the road.

        This article may help you to discipline your child better:

        How to Discipline a Child (The Complete Guide for Different Ages)

        9. Stay Positive

        Everyone has heard the saying, “Mind over matter.” But there really is so much power behind your mentality. It can change your perspective and make a difficult situation so much better.

        Your kids will be able to detect even the smallest shift in your attitude. When the responsibilities of motherhood are overwhelming, stay focused on the positive things in your life, such as your friends and family. This will produce a much more stable home environment.

        Maintain your sense of humor and don’t be afraid to be silly. Look towards the future and the great things that are still to come for you and your family. Rediscover and redefine your family values.

        10. Move Past the Guilt

        In a single parent home, it is impossible to act as both parents, regardless of how hard you try. Let go of the things that you cannot do as a single parent, and instead, think of the great things you ARE able to provide for your children.

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        Leave behind the notion that life would be easier or better with two parents. This is simply not true. There is a multitude of pros and cons to all family dynamics, and the one you are providing for your kids now is the one that they need.

        Don’t get bogged down by guilt or regret. Take control of your life and be the best parent you can by being present and engaged with them on a daily basis.

        11. Answer Questions Honestly

        Your kids may have questions about why their home situation is different from many of their friends. When asked, don’t sugarcoat the situation or give them an answer that is not accurate.

        Depending on their age, take this opportunity to explain the truth of what happened and how the current circumstances came about. Not all families have two parents, whether that is due to divorce, death, or whatever else life brings.

        Don’t give more detail than necessary or talk badly about the other parent. But strive to be truthful and honest. Your children will benefit more from your candor than a made-up story.

        12. Treat Kids Like Kids

        In the absence of a partner, it can be tempting to rely on your children for comfort, companionship, or sympathy. But your kids are not equipped to play this role for you.

        There are many details within an adult relationship that children are not able to understand or process, and it will only cause confusion and resentment.

        Do not take out your anger on your kids. Separate your emotional needs from your role as a mother. If you find yourself depending on your kids too much, look for adult friends or family members that you can talk to about your issues.

        13. Find Role Models

        Find positive role models of the opposite sex for your child. It’s crucial that your child does not form negative associations with an entire gender of people.

        Find close friends or family members that would be willing to spend one-on-one time with your kids. Encourage them to form meaningful relationships with people that you trust and that they can look up to.

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        Role models can make a huge difference in the path that a child decides to take, so be intentional about the ones that you put in your kids’ lives.

        14. Be Affectionate and Give Praise

        Your children need your affection and praise on a daily basis. Engage with your kids as often as possible by playing with them, going on outings, and encouraging open dialogue.

        Affirm them in the things that they are doing well, no matter how small. Praise their efforts, rather than their achievements. This will inspire them to continue to put forth hard work and not give up when success is not achieved.

        Rather than spending money on gifts, spend time and effort in making lasting memories.

        Final Thoughts

        Being a single parent is a challenging responsibility to take on. Without the help of a partner to fall back on, single parents have a lot more to take on.

        However, studies show that growing up in a single parent home does not have a negative effect on achievement in school. As long as the family is a stable and safe environment, kids are able to excel and do well in life.

        Use these tips in order to be a reliable and capable parent for your kids, while maintaining your own well-being and sanity.

        More Resources About Parenting

        Featured photo credit: Bruno Nascimento via unsplash.com

        Reference

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