Fredericksburg Parent

December 2017 - January 2018

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28 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • December 2017 & January 2018 WRITTEN BY christina katz Secrets of Creative Families think the arts are frivolous, impractical, and over-priced? Sometimes a parent's "the-arts-just-aren't-necessary" attitude can tragically squelch a young person's creative aspirations. Whereas a parent who is too gung-ho about a child's talents, may not realize that hijacking dreams robs a child of healthy feelings of ownership and independence. Fortunately, many parents find the balanced middle. They figure out how to quietly stand behind a young person's aspirations without taking over, and find ways to supportively usher their child towards creating a colorful future. As parents of creative kids, how can we banish black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking about the arts, and tap into our expressive parenting power instead? Here are ten tips that will help you encourage your kids to create the future that best suits them. 10 Ways To Encourage Expressive Kids BE CREATiVE YOURSELF. Want creative kids? Start by being creative yourself. Before you can encourage your child to pursue her creative dreams, you have to nurture your own dreams. I work at home as a writer, an author, and a writing coach. My home office is an explosion of creative accomplish- ments. My husband is a theater actor, director, and producer. His program mounts three or four theatrical pro- ductions a year. Our daughter has also developed her own creative hobbies over the years, like singing, dancing, acting, designing, and drawing. ENCoURAGE HoBBiEs. If last year's hobby was knitting and this year's hobby is painting, that's fine. Never force your kids to continue hobbies that no longer interest them. As long as the sup- plies are affordable and the experience is enrich- ing, variety is good. And when a hobby sticks around, that works, too. Hobbies need to be about the joy of doing. The last thing a hobby should be about is per- fection or competition. If you are overly involved in your child's hobbies, take a step back. That's their thing. Why not find your own? EXPosE YOUR FAmiLY TO THE ARTs. Art appreciation can be a family affair without becoming expensive. Surely you are not the only family in the neighbor- hood interested in exposing your family to culture. Team up with families in your neighborhood to attend shows and events at group discount rates. Check local museums for free days and local theaters for meet- the-actors shows. You can also find cultural opportunities through the public library, in local theaters, at the local com- munity center, via local schools and colleges, and by taking advantage of special broadcasts at your local movie theater. MAKE ROOM FOR imAGiNATioN. The magic of creativity often happens in private. How often do you all scatter to your own corners of the house to read, create, or simply have some space for imagination? Forget the idea that positive results only come from measured formulas and strictly followed recipes. Heights of beauty and transformation in art are often achieved through immersion in an imaginative process. Structured arts and crafts projects are fine, but release your kids to their own creative devices, as well. 1 2 3 4

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