The Challenges of Parenting a Creative Child

If you are the parent of a creative child, you are probably alternatively in awe of your child’s accomplishments, and in shock and horror of the latest disaster created by them. Creativity is in no way an escape from the traumas, and difficulties of childhood and the teen years. If anything, it just makes them harder.

What makes raising a creative child so interesting?

Creativity means that a person thinks “outside the box” or at least in original ways. Most creative people are a force within themselves and are constantly thinking of new ways to do things. Children are naturally inquisitve, always trying to learn new things. They are on a discovery field trip every day of their lives. The more creative and more intelligent a child, the more trouble they can get themselves into. The creative child just thinks up more new ways to find trouble.

It is not all trouble, of course. Creative children are wonderful to observe. They are entertaining and fascinating on their own. Watching them learn and discover the world around them can remind you of all of the things you take for granted every day. However, expect them to want to figure out how things work.

Parents must pick their battles. When your daughter dresses for school wearing one sock that matches her shirt, and another that matches her skirt, how do you explain that the socks are supposed to match each other? And how do you explain that people are not supposed to wear three different patterns at the same time? Are you just stifling the creativity of a future clothing or costume designer?

When you tell your child to always color inside the lines are you stopping them from being the next Picasso or Miro? Are you embarrassed because your son wants to dance instead of playing baseball? What if he is the next Baryshnikov?

Did your son just take apart the lawn mower but now you can’t put it back together? Viktor Schrekengost was a brilliant artist, engineer, and designer. I wonder how he started?

That doesn’t mean that creative children should not follow your rules. Just make sure that your rules allow these children to be free enough to continue to learn and think creatively and yet keep them safe.

Here are some suggestions to overcome the challenges of these unique children:

  1. Encourage your children to talk to you about what they are thinking. See if there are activities that you can do together. Who knows, maybe you will learn something?
  2. Don’t be afraid if your child is better than you at doing something. They still need your maturity and guidance to grow to responsible adulthood.
  3. Chances are your child will need a mentor to help them in the areas that they want to learn about. Find a good mentor for your child. Then be proud of what they accomplish.
  4. It is not odd for creative children to need alone time. Just make sure that they are safe when they are alone.
  5. Creative people are more susceptible to depression than the average person. Watch your teenage children for this especially.
  6. Let your children know you love them. All children need love and when they feel different from others then this will help them feel more self-confident.

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