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Ten Tips For Fostering Creativity In Your Children

07/24/2012 03:57 EDT | Updated 09/24/2012 05:12 EDT

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If you are a parent today in the western world, you have joined a very special club. A club of parents cast adrift, drowning in self-doubt while dodging waves of pyscho-babble lurching at them from every direction. It's easy to throw blame around but what is the main question we all want the answer? "How do I help my child unfold to be their very best in today's world?"

10 Tips to Foster Creativity in Your Children

Encourage your kids to sign up and embrace something that they love. Whether it's drumming, hip-hop or clown school -- give them opportunities to go out, sign up, and then make sure to give them the time and space to choose to do the work required at home.

1) Comedy: Join a comedy troupe. Then when someone asks: "What are you? A comedian?", they can answer: "Yes!"

2) Start a Business: Dog walking. Cat sitting. Lawn mowing. Make something cool that people need like funky knitted hats. Find ways to get customers and learn how to keep them as well.

3) Write a Family History: It could be a book, a video, or it could be a blog. When you combine personal history with storytelling, you end up with a powerful creative skill.

4) Make Some Protest Songs: If you play an instrument you could write songs using your guitar or piano. If not, there are great music-creating software programs out there. Go out and sing those songs wherever and whenever you can.

5) Create Your Own Muppets: Find a character. Do parties. Go to hospital wards and have your new creation meet and greet. (That's how Elmo started)

6) Knitting or Crocheting: This is huge these days with kids in their teens and twenties. There are knitting raves and flashmob knitting -- it's just a great thing that's being re-invented. Yarn-bombing around telephone poles. Knitting cellphone covers, wine bottle covers, dog coats and more. This ain't your Granny's knitting!

7) Claymation: It's slow -- painstakingly so -- but amazing. If you are willing to put in the time, you can create new universes and have them do what you want to do and say what you want them to say.

8) Filmmaking: This is how the great directors started: just doing it on their own on zero or minimal budgets. Sometimes, we can tell the very best story when we are limited in the way we can tell that story. Filmmaking on a budget can do that.

9) Cooking: Some film directors have likened making a film to cooking a meal: choosing your meal and getting the recipes is like the script. Shopping for the perfect ingredients is like shooting the film. Cooking the meal is like editing and the place setting and the food placement is like the theatrical opening of the show. See food that way and open up to a whole new experience in dining.

10) Write and Perform: Make your own musical on a theme that means something to you. This gets you to do some acting, singing, script-writing, set and costume design, marketing and build your organizational skills (when you get others involved).

It's not important what creative outlet your child chooses, how they do it, or what they can do with it. It really is the process that enriches their lives. It teaches so many skills like patience, perseverance, faith in themselves and most important of all, it teaches them to marvel at the creative process from chaos to completion. A skill that many have lost appreciation for.

One last thing: If you are reading this, you are a parent who cares. Sometimes that may be all you need but never underestimate your child as a resource to guide you in what to do as a parent. Ask them. You may be surprised by their answers. Share in their creative endeavors as an impassioned spectator. Join in their communities and honour their mentors who earn your trust.

Empowering this new generation will give them something that stays with them their whole life. One of the most powerful forces for change is creativity. Nurture this in your children and you will open a place for self-worth to grow. A fantastic opportunity to believe in themselves. You have that power. That may be one of the greatest creative acts in a lifetime. Make it so!

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