There is nothing more important to childhood development than self-expression. A child must be able to express what he or she wants and how he or she feels with freedom and safety. Children that do not grow up in an environment of respect, love, and compassion often find difficulty opening up to others as they grow up and often experience many different mental and emotional pitfalls. It’s no secret that allowing your child to express his or her feelings, emotions, thoughts, and creativity in a safe environment is one of the most beneficial parts to raising a child.
One of the best ways that kids express themselves is through artistic means. Painting, finger-painting, drawing, sketching, coloring, and writing all have been proven to provide a solid outlet for many of the strong emotions that children deal with. Many psychologists and therapists find stunning information about a child within the drawings or artwork of that child, making creativity one of the most enlightening and though-provoking experiences of a child’s life.
Allowing a child to paint or draw with freedom and without boundaries is a critical component to childhood development because it opens the mind and frees the spirit. Within a few moments of coloring or drawing seemingly unrelated objects or shapes on a page, a child can form thoughts and ideas that may be surprising to the parent. This process is incredibly important in the development of communication skills, emotional skills, and psychological awareness.
Another great way to help kids express themselves is through playful expression. Allowing children to safely and securely play with one another, whether through sports or other recreational pursuits, is a great way to help teach cooperation, relationship skills, and respect for others. By setting up reasonable boundaries and rules for playtime, a parent can safely guide their children through the motions of responsible play and activity without interfering with their development.
There are many great board games and interactive games to play with children that enhance the creative energy and create positive influences. Parking the child in front of the television is a poor choice for a number of reasons, the least of which is that television is a one-way medium and does not encourage any creative or critical thinking on behalf of the child. If television is a must, the parent should watch television with the child so as to provide some sort of platform for genuine interaction.
A final example of a great way to promote self-expression in children is through the building of objects. Dollhouses, model cars, and other objects that require construction are great ways to promote natural progression and creativity within a certain set of boundaries. As the child learns to follow the instructions for putting together the dollhouse or model car, he or she becomes aware of the role of instructions and guidelines and is able to employ creative techniques to produce the end result.
Creativity through the guidelines of building an object, such as a dollhouse, is an important facet of life for children to learn, as many of the real-life situations they will find themselves in will call upon the skills learned through early childhood development.