5 Ways To Encourage Creativity In Your Teen
- Mar 1, 2022
Ah, ‘creativity’ - the stuff of Gods. An elusive spark that differentiates a Picasso from a Tesla, a Beethoven from a Dua Lipa.
Not quite! You see, ‘creativity’ can be as simple as the act of bringing an idea to life. This simple shift in understanding can make a huge difference in helping your teen be more creative!
In this article, we’re dividing it like steps in a process - from helping your teenager understand the ideas in their head, all the way to creation.
1. Low-Tech Time
Technology has made it so that your teen is constantly looking at content created by other people on Instagram, Youtube, Tiktok and so on. But shouldn’t they be creating some content of their own? The best way to encourage this is to give them some quiet time, devoid from the constant pinging of notification alerts. Introduce a time in the day for low-tech hours. . A starting target could be one hour a day, preferably at the start of every day. During this time, your teen should refrain from using their screens. Instead, they could pick up a book or spend some time in the garden.
Why does this help? Because the first thing teens do when they wake up is jump on their phone and mindlessly scroll through social media. Deterring this habit is important to free up their minds and get the creative juices flowing.
Now that we have one hour a day, what do we do with it? We journal. Which brings us to our next point -
2. Encourage Journaling
Making a habit of journaling first thing every morning can definitely help your teen be more creative!
However, we’re going to do this exercise a little differently. Instead of telling your child to write ‘x’ number of pages everyday, give them a time limit. For example, ask them to pen down all their thoughts in ten minutes.
While they’re writing, they needn’t worry about grammar mistakes or spelling errors; the aim behind the activity is to just give words to their thoughts and feelings.
This simple exercise can help your teen talk about their everyday things, including ideas!
3. Constructive Criticism
Here’s a common scenario: A teen who quickly stops playing the drums, or writing short stories because of one “well-meaning” comment from a parent.
It is important to look at creativity like a seed growing into a plant. At the beginning, it has to be protected and carefully dealt with, so it can grow into a tall oak! How do we do this? Constructive criticism.
From today, everytime you spot your teen trying something new or showing off their latest creation - only say things that would be “constructive”. Here’s a simple test: ask yourself, ‘Is what I’m about to say going to add a positive element to the work, or am I just tearing my child’s effort down?”
On the flip side, heap on the encouragement. This helps us be mindful about not snipping the bud before it blooms!
4. Fun Time
Once your teen starts journaling every morning, they will become increasingly aware of their dreams and desires. Allot an hour a week to let your teens try something out of their wishlist - skating, finger painting, a new language course, a new restaurant. As long as it’s safe, encourage them to spend this time by themselves. This will help them focus on their own feelings and thoughts, instead of being distracted by others. Remember, for there to be a “self-expression” there needs to be a “self” to express. The above helps your teen cultivate a sense of “self.”
5. Money Manners
It pays, in the long run, to encourage your teen to mind their money manners! Simply put, creating the habit of keeping track of the money that they have and spend on a daily basis. What does money have to do with creativity? Well, your teen is growing up in a vastly different world than you did. This is especially true in the case of how much they can scale and grow their ideas. From buying new paints, shopping a course on Udemy, entering a robot-building competition with a fee, or even building a business on Shopify/Fiverr - one common element among them is money, and more importantly, managing it.
Money can also be the reason why they may have to abandon ideas mid-way. So, to give your teen a full-sprint ahead, giving a monthly allowance and cultivating the habit of investing is important.
Creativity isn’t just something your teen is born with. It can be fostered and grown with healthy habits and mindfulness. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to turn your teen into an artist. To top it off, here’s a bonus tip: Pick up ‘The Artist Way for Kids’ by Julia Cameron to get more life-changing ideas that will encourage your teen to be creative!
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