Most of the time we spend with our children is spent trying our very best to understand them, to take care of them and to find ways to bring them joy. In this we are predominantly driven by “social expectations”, we focus on all the “must do’s” and we forget what is really important. What’s important is making your child feel loved, heard and understood. Most parents have no idea how to achieve this within their own family structure, and it is no fault of their own. What we think we have to do and what our natural instincts tell us are usually in conflict with each other.
There is a solution to this though, allow your child to take the lead on creative endeavours. Allow them to pick the topic, the medium to be used, right up to end result, if I may. Children love to sing songs, write stories, draw/paint pictures, mould characters from playdough and be in charge a little. By allowing them to take the lead, they then give you access to their world. For example, your little one loves trees, so follow his (or her) concept, provide various options for them to choose from. Whether it be to paint a tree and add textures using real leaves, textiles or household items. The choices are all theirs.
During this time of child-led creativity, your child will begin to communicate with you about what they are feeling, what they see and understand what they want to learn and what they are struggling with. By creating an open arena for them expose their inner being, you will start to understand their innermost person, you will discover what interests them, you will see what brings them joy and because they are “in charge” you will see their confidence grow not only with regards to expression but with other aspects of their lives.