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Ways To Encourage Your Teen’s Creativity

Are you the parent/caregiver of a passionate and artistic child and wondering how to encourage your teen’s creativity?

With conventional schools focusing on STEM subjects and test scores, creative kids can get lost in the shuffle. Fortunately, arts academy middle/high schools exist as a safe haven for such kids.

But whatever your child’s educational experience, there are ways to be sure creativity flourishes when they’re home and away from school.

How to Encourage Your Teen’s Creativity

If you are also artistically inclined, then you already know how important creativity is for critical thought, expressing oneself, developing resourcefulness, and just plain releasing stress and anxiety. As such, you may already be encouraging an environment of creativity for your kid(s) at home. 

But even if you can’t find your way around a box of crayons, have no fear! There are plenty of ways you can keep creativity a priority when your kids are showing an interest in artistic endeavors. Even if you don’t quite grasp their passion, the last thing you want to do is discourage the originality, imagination, ingenuity, and innovation that seems to come to them so naturally.

Here are some of the ways you can do this:

1. Embrace Mistakes

Kids are just as prone to fear of failure (or not being good enough) as adults. So when you see your child embarking on a new creative project, only to get frustrated when they’re not getting the results they wanted, give them points for making the effort. And let them know that they just haven’t gotten where they want to with the project YET. This reassures them that if they keep working on it and stay persistent, something will come of it. Even if you have no idea what that is!

Remind them that you too have made mistakes in the past while learning new activities and what those mistakes have taught you along the way.

2. Celebrate Unconventionality

If you’re a free-spirited parent, you may already have this one covered. 

But for parents who aren’t as comfortable with the artistic process, you might butt up against this a bit. That’s okay. Just try to go with it for the sake of your child. Chances are, you’ll get something out of it too.

Try incorporating some unconventional activities into your home life. Throw out the rules for one day. Have breakfast for dinner, or do everything the opposite of what you normally do. Go against the norms to encourage divergent thinking and spark creativity. And have fun with it!

3. Allow for Experimentation

Are you certain there’s only one way to load the dishwasher or mow the lawn? Your child may have a different idea of how to do everyday things around the house. 

Of course, there will be certain methods they employ that you know are going to be highly ineffective. Resist the urge to correct them though and allow them to discover these for themselves. You’ll be fostering their problem-solving and creative thinking skills. 

As a plus, you may just discover that they can teach YOU a more effective and efficient way to do something. When this happens, praise their ability in taking initiative coming up with a new way to tackle a task. This way, you’re focusing more on the effort than on the result. 

4. Encourage Discovery

How often do you just slow down and take in what’s happening around you? A simple jaunt out in nature is a great way to boost your teen’s creativity. Nature is the consummate artist and from a simple leaf to the song of a bird to the intricacies of a gnarled old tree, there’s much to be absorbed.

Additionally, regularly exposing your teen to museums, galleries, and performances, or taking them to different ethnic restaurants will give them a chance to experience diversity. Culturally aware teens are far more open to creative inspiration.  

5. Embrace Tech

You may have gone to great lengths to keep your kids away from screens when they were little. And that may have been beneficial. Teenagers are all about tech though. This is their reality. So use it to your advantage. 

Get involved and talk to your teen about their artistic interests and what they might like to explore. Look up tutorials on YouTube or check out other artists/performers doing similar work on Pinterest or Instagram. These are amazing resources that can inspire your child.

6. Serve As a Role Model

Creativity is all around us and in many different forms. It’s essential to our survival as a species. 

The reality is that each of us is creative in our own way. Whether you’re showing passion when making dinner or writing a letter, or you’re releasing stress by playing a musical instrument or painting, you’re showing your teen the power of creativity as a tool.

And any time you brainstorm solutions to problems and develop innovative solutions, you’re also demonstrating creativity. Help your teen to see this connection. 

Would Your Child Thrive With An Arts-Integrated Education?

While you’re busy finding ways to encourage your teen’s creativity on the home front, what is his or her current educational experience emphasizing? 

If you think that your creative child could really shine at an arts academy middle school or high school, contact us today to schedule a tour of our school. 

And give your artistic teen the chance to thrive in an environment that successfully integrates art and academics. 


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