Sitting in my den at 6AM, I can sometimes hear the opening and closing of my four-year-old’s door. She creeps out of her room, through the living room and tip-toes into my office space. Every time, she thinks I can’t hear her, but I am well aware it is her.
“Daddy,” she whispers. “Can you help me with a project.”
She’s at it again, like a mad scientist working on some diabolical scheme. In the early hours of the morning she is creating some sort of paper/cardboard project to “surprise” someone in our family. Much like her father who wakes up early and writes his heart out, she wakes up early and snips and glues to her heart’s content.
She is naturally curious, creative, and artistic.
And I want to cultivate these qualities in her. Especially because they are part of her nature and I don’t ever want her to feel like they are less than whatever else she could be doing. There will be plenty of people in life who will want to tell her to forget about being an artist and become a doctor, lawyer, or something else.
But not me, I want her to tap into her creativity.
Creating a Culture of Creativity
For many of us, we work jobs which don’t encourage us to use our naturally creative talents. Along the road of life, we are told to get our head out of the clouds and start thinking practically. Figure out how to make money, save for retirement, and buy a house.
All of these things can be done while creating by the way.
As fathers, we can encourage our children to live creatively. And we have a duty to do so. We need to step into the role of our child’s first mentor of creative nature and give them the space to create.
My daughter sees me writing every morning when she wakes up. She knows it’s a good time to do projects when other people are still sleeping (namely her two-year-old sister). And so, I want to encourage her creativity.
How do we do this though?
Three Simple Ways to Cultivate Your Child’s Creativity
For a long time, I though it would be a bunch of complex thoughts to do this. And then, one morning while my daughter was working on a ‘project’ right next to me at the kitchen counter, it dawned on me:
She creates because I create.
This little sentence helped me realize how I can encourage my children to create. It starts with three ideas which we can implement today.
№1 — Create with Your Child
Every morning I write. And every morning my daughter does paper and glue art. We are creating together. As dads, doing things side-by-side help us to connect. It also provides our children with memories of the example of creation.
It is in these examples, we can provide a base of creativity which will help them as they continue to learn and grow. And in a lot of cases, it will help provide them with sweet memories too.
№2 — Create on Their Terms
Sometimes, I have to push aside my laptop and jump into the cardboard, glue, paper, and tape mess. Doing separate things are good. But what my daughter enjoys is doing something together. Something she wants to do.
We need to step into their creative world. Help them create Lego structures, and cardboard crowns, and dollhouses. It is in the creation of their imagination where they will learn to think outside the box. And where they will make their imagination a reality.
№3 — Create Lessons with Creativity
Whether it is your project or your children’s project, find ways to help give them life lessons in creativity. This will encourage them to find creative ways to solve problems. I am seeing this more and more in my daughter.
For example, we do a lot of home renovation projects. And whenever possible, I let me sweet girl help me with them. When I come to an unforeseen problem, I help walk her through how to figure out solutions. We ask questions like these:
- What is the problem?
- Where are we at now?
- What do we want this to look like?
- How do we get there?
- What is our next action?
I have seen my daughter use this line of questioning as she figures out obstacles to her own creativity. And it is special to see her figure it out without a lot of help from me.
As fathers, we do not want to keep our children from being creative. We should be encouraging their creativity at every turn. This will help them with problem solving and critical thinking. And it will help them enjoy the creative process.
And when we can create a culture of creativity in our homes, it helps us enjoy it too. How do you encourage your children to be creative? Are there any tips or tricks you use? Share in the responses below.