Creative Child May 2020 - Page 55

The Emotional Environment As important as it is to have a physical environment conducive to creativity, it’s equally important to create the right emotional environment. This means fostering a home environment that encourages and values creativity and that minimizes criticisms and judgment of one’s creative endeavors. It’s easy to see how being critical of a child’s art work or performance can kill creativity, but even positive judgments can be harmful. When you praise the product instead of the effort, kids learn to place a value judgement on their work not based on their own likes and expressions but on what is pleasing to you. Therefore, their own creativity is stifled. In addition, some children may start to create purely for praise and not for their own enjoyment. For example, let’s say Annie’s teacher holds up her drawing to the class and says, “Everyone, look how beautiful Annie’s drawing of the garden is.” The other children then try to copy Annie’s picture to win that same kind of praise rather than using their own styles and ideas. Their creativity was hampered so they could copy the “worthy” drawing. 54