We all want to help our children to be creative, to develop their artistic vision and natural talent.
What is the best way to do so, especially in a crisis?
I find that those days it might be even easier at some point to boost creativeness in a natural way.
Since everything feels deeper and more intense, the creativity can become greater and brighter as well. The most important is to direct your child's energy in the right direction.
See what your children incline to do naturally, in which way they prefer to create, and then support them, gently guide them with no pressure but with love and acceptance.
I will speak about the painting process since it is my specialty. I want to give you a few ideas on how to reinforce and develop it.
Let your young artists create, let them be independent and responsible when it comes to painting. They can do more and better than you think, just trust them and give the artistic process some time. We don't know how much time; the process might end up being endless since there’s no limit to improvement. Just stay where you are and try not to have any expectations or have your expectations low.
Before each painting session please remind yourself that your child is simply going to explore the painting process. Ask yourself what the main goal is, what do you want your child to take out of it, and why it is important to you and to your young artist? Those questions will help you to activate your awareness, to focus on the intention and bring your child’s attention to the importance of it as well.
The purpose might be as simple as to learn something new about painting and about themselves. And even simpler: to practice staying relatively still and focused and to dedicate a certain amount of time to just one thing: to painting in this particular case.
This is already huge. To reinforce this awareness just try to be calm and well rested yourself before the painting session. Take a moment to realize the important of inspiration in your life as well as in your child’s life. What does it bring to you? If you feel stressed, just take a couple of minutes to focus on your inner world, bring attention to your breath. Once you feel relatively still and more or less balanced on the inside you can help your child to be in a good mood and gently cue them into the excitement of upcoming painting session. It might sound easy but try it. Those are simple magic tools that really do work. Trust me, your children are connected to you, you translate to them messages with no words, but on another level, they reflect your emotions and inner state, so take a little time to tune in, a little work with yourself will show great results in your child’s ability to concentrate and create.
Whether they're taking an online art class or painting on their own, of course help them with the set up, but try not to paint for them. I know it is not easy sometimes, but please, PLEASE try hard and just let them do what they can at this time. It will help to grow their confidence. And rather sooner than or later you will have an independent child with this approach. And your child will gradually transform in a real artist with a particular style and solid vision.
If they ask for your help, of course be there for them, but always encourage them to try by themselves. Just be with them and assist them making sure that they are doing the work themselves. Gradually make them understand that they can do it and that they’re responsible for their own art pieces. They will take this responsibility more willingly once they feel like you’re not expecting them to do something specific or impeccable.
It is OK if their paintings don't look perfect at the moment. It is OK if they make mistakes. Believe me, they are trying their best and painting process is NOT easy for them.
If you think it is that easy, try to complete the whole painting by yourself. Even a simple one! Come to my class and see.
Learning painting is a long and not linear process. It is also complex and demanding. It requires certain dedication and discipline which we’re trying to develop gradually. Let it unravel with small even or even tiny steps. Remember: the consistency is the key. As long as you help your child to be consistent, they don't need to be perfect. The best if you create a simple routine by keeping a particular day and time for painting. The discipline is great tool to boost creativity, surprisingly. Reserving some room, making special time for it in life will encourage the process.
Use positive reinforcement technique while your child is creating and is obviously trying and is in a good mood, not after. That will create a neural connection in their brain and positive association with the process. They are most likely to be willing to repeat this experience after that then. Also that will help them to learn how to positively reinforce themselves gradually.
What about the results? You will see the results, I promise. Try that: take your child's painting from today and put it somewhere in a secret place, then have a look at this in 6 months or in a year to compare it with their current artwork. You will be amazed by the progress that they have made!
For now, just stay in the moment, don't rush. Let yourself feel what you feel about your kids’ creativity, accept it the way it is. Yes, just simply observe and accept. After each class take a moment to look at your children’s painting together and let them talk about it. Ask them how they feel about it. What does it mean to them? Teach them to interpret their artwork as those are messages from their souls, from their subconscious.
They represent their emotions, their fears, their wishes on a deep level. Your children might tell you something interesting, just let them communicate their vision to you without giving them your ideas. Listen and try to understand. It is challenging but try hard. What you see is most likely different from what they see in it. If you let yourself dive into their world, you will be astounded by how rich it is. If something that you notice worries you, do not deny it, don’t try to fix it in one day, but simply pay attention and take care of it.
Sometimes the artistic process might feel easier, sometimes harder. Remind yourself that less is more, and simplicity is the key, so keep everything as simple as possible.
Remember: your kids are different from you, different souls, new and different minds. Just let them be, try to observe rather than to push into something that you think is right for them. Try to learn from them rather than to teach them.
You will be surprised by their ability to create and you will fall in love with their unusual vision. Try to see what they see rather than to show them what you notice. They see the beauty, let them express it without influencing their creative voice.