Thinking creatively and independently can be challenging at any age. What a lot of parents may not realize is that they can play a huge role in helping their kids to become creatively independent. So what does creative independence mean? In simple terms, it’s about having your ideas and being able to stand for what you believe rather than surrendering to peer pressure. As we all know, peer pressure exists everywhere and can affect anybody. Therefore, giving your child the key to independent thinking is crucial!
Contrary to common belief, early childhood isn’t the only time when you need to encourage them. Indeed, the teenage years can be just as challenging when it comes to embracing their individual ideas. There is a lot of social pressure that can appear during those years, especially as our kids thrive for personal recognition and social approval. They want to be accepted as they are, and those who don’t feel self-confident are often willing to change who they are to be recognized by other kids. It can be a dangerous process. So why not help our teens to rediscover their creative side and learn the joy of building their own thought processes and values?
Make writing or doodling a habit
You have probably encountered creative prompts in the past, such as these 3rd grade writing worksheets that encourage young children to use their imagination. Unfortunately, creative prompts tend to disappear from the curriculum in later years. But, it’s never too late to take inspiration from them and create your writing contest at home. Writing can encourage teens to explore their emotions and understand their feelings. As adolescence can be a difficult period to go through with a lot of conflicted emotions, being able to put these down in writing can make a huge difference. It also helps clarify their thoughts and their values and create an escape path for their day-to-day stress. There are also plenty of creative prompts available for young writers or doodlers to join national or international contests for free.
Help them be independent thinkers
Being an independent thinker is about coming to your own conclusion without imitating someone else’s behaviors. It is fair to say that thinking independently doesn’t mean that your child will be isolated. On the contrary, they may develop the same thoughts as their friends. But it is the path that leads to these thoughts that matters. As a parent, you play a crucial role in acknowledging their ideas when they speak up, so that they feel comfortable and confident sharing what’s on their minds. Adolescents are going through a huge emotional journey as their body is handling the hormonal excess. Therefore, teenagers need to re-discover their self-esteem through their interactions with their parents. Make sure they can feel valued when they choose to express their thoughts.
Question their truths and your own
Life is a continual self-growth journey. The more you learn about yourself and others, the more you adjust your perspectives. Therefore, it’s important to show them that self-questioning is a healthy process. As a parent, you need to be comfortable questioning your own truths and confronting your thinking patterns when they are not fit for purpose anymore. Every child learns by mimicking their parents.
Teenagers often find it challenging to juggle social approval and independent thinking. As a parent, you can help them achieve both successfully. A creative thinker is someone who never stops growing, so it’s a wonderful gift to give your child.