Five Ways to Nurture Creativity
If your child has ADHD, chances are that no matter what his age, he’s a pretty creative person. This may not always manifest as intrinsic artistic abilities, since creativity can reveal itself in myriads of ways, even in the same child. While routines are necessary and beneficial for any child, change is crucial sometimes, to let those creative juices flow! Here are five proven ways to nurture creativity in your kiddo.
Change it Up
If your kiddo loves to draw, maybe he can try a different type of drawing, like comics or still life. Even better is to change completely: He can try his hand at ceramics or photography. There are so many options in the world of fine arts, from print making to video editing and from poetry to dance. If fine arts don’t suit your child, maybe he needs something more physical: swimming, track, or team sports might get him in the right frame of mind. Having your child switch it up every so often will give him a healthy sense of perspective.
Don’t Expect Perfection
Is your child a perfectionist? This attitude cripples many children who have ADHD. Help him keep the mindset that his creative pursuits are simply a way to exercise the brain and to express himself in new and fun medium. While it is difficult for an artist not to take his work personally, you should be okay with imperfection, and so should he. Especially with children, it’s important not to take things too incredibly seriously.
Make Creativity a Part of Everyday Life
Daily routines are important for children and for all of us. Find a time in your child’s schedule that allows for him to create freely. It’s easy for a child to get caught up in the craziness of life, too – Homework, friends, after-school activities. But nurturing creativity that is innate in your kiddo should take some precedence and have scheduled time, too.
Give your child enough time – and only the child and his parents can really decide what’s enough – to really get lost in his craft and feel like he’s truly creating something. Of course, with school and sleep, it might seem like there is no time at all – but a few hours a week will hopefully be sufficient.
The Right Tools
If your child feels a true calling to be a painter, or at least to try out painting, try to have lots of painting supplies around. This doesn’t only include paint and paper but other items to paint on. Maybe you have some old furniture that could be spruced up with some child designs or a designated in the house wall that he can claim.
This, of course, doesn’t only apply to painting. There are imaginative toys and books and tools, all that can stir your child’s expanding mind. I have a fondness for Waldorf toys and dolls; I find them to be especially beautiful. But there are other creative games for your child to play with, also, such as pretending to own a restaurant or a store, body sculpting (pretend your child is clay and you’re a sculptor!), or making inventions. Ask your child for as much input as possible!
Kids Need to Sleep!
Sleep has a profound effect on the way our brains function, especially those of growing children. You child can’t be expected to perform well at school if he’s not resting enough, let alone be creative in any other way. I’m a huge proponent of an earlier bed time for most kids. Statistics show that kids these days just aren’t sleeping enough, and this has an even more profound effect on children with ADHD.
So, what will you start with? What is your child’s favorite artistic endeavor? Let me know in the comments!