The National Parenting Center

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Nurturing Creativity in Your Pre-Schooler

All young children are creative people. Nature seems to have endowed them with the ability to transform even the most commonplace circumstance into a novel event, full of joy and discovery.

• One important task for any parent is to work to keep that creativity alive. You can do this best by nurturing your own creativity as a parent. When your child comes up to you with a toy and tells you that it’s a space monster, allow yourself to go along with the scene and find an appropriate role to play.

• Provide your child with resources for his creativity, but don’t ply him with kits, games, and equipment. Remember that a child can be very creative with the simplest of things, such as a piece of bent twig or a paper napkin.

• Above all, make sure not to criticize or judge your child’s creative products. If your child shows you a picture he’s drawn, and it looks like scribbles to you, remember that to him it may represent the fruits of much creative effort, so ask him to tell you all about it rather than judging it or ignoring it. When you show interest in your child’s creative labors, you reinforce his desire to want to continue discovering new things in his own way.

Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. is an award-winning author and speaker with twenty-eight years of teaching experience from the primary through the doctoral level, and over one million copies of his books in print on issues related to learning and human development. He is the author of nine books including Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, In Their Own Way, Awakening Your Child’s Natural Genius, 7 Kinds of Smart, The Myth of the A.D.D. Child, ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom, and Awakening Genius in the Classroom. His books have been translated into sixteen languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, Danish, and Russian.

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