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Children’s Creativity: Nurturing Autonomy, Pride, and More

Discover how to reinforce and augment your child’s creativity.

Creativity enriches children’s lives in many ways, including bolstering their sense of self and motivation to learn. 

“I painted this myself!”

Children who choose to be creative and who become excited about their endeavours and pleased with the outcomes are primed to continue to find outlets for creative expression. Pride in accomplishment can foster ongoing engagement and increase levels of productivity, complexity, and autonomy. In short, kids gain self-assurance and learn to be independent.

Parents can encourage their child’s creativity, motivation, confidence, and skill-building.

Here are some practical suggestions.

1. Help your child embrace intrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic motivators are internal to the person experiencing them. Curiosity, self-actualization, satisfaction, joy, and pride can result from being effortful. Any or all of this, in turn, can trigger additional effort, and achievement. The thrill of learning, doing, creating, and accomplishing can springboard initiative and increase competence, thereby enhancing motivation. One drawing, dance, melody, or poem can lead to another, and another… “Parents support a powerful form of intrinsic motivation to learn when they encourage children and adolescents to think about who they uniquely are, and then guide them in finding good pathways to advance their enthusiasms.”

2. Consider the level of challenge.

Children learn best and are more apt to be creative when tasks and activities are suited to their interests and abilities. It makes good sense to co-create expectations. Are they clear? Do they align well with your child’s strengths and prior knowledge? Are they attainable, and are the timelines reasonable given whatever else might be going on in your child’s life?

Dr. Joanne Foster

Dr. Joanne Foster, an acclaimed author and educator, has dedicated over 35 years to gifted education and child development. With expertise in psychology and special education, her work empowers parents and educators, fostering creativity and high-level learning in children and teens. Dr. Foster has written countless articles, and several books—the most recent being Ignite Your Ideas: Creativity for Kids.

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