What to do if your child says “I am not an artist”

So a child says, “I am not an artist”

What can you do to help a child who doesn’t want to make art?

If you have a child or if you work with children, you will have experience a time when a child refuse to take part in an art project. What happens when your child or a child you know refuse to make art?

Now, you may wonder, why is art important for any child to experience?

  1. Explore their creativity: Art allows one to venture off the paper and to explore their imagination and ideas. Being able to think on your feet and to think ‘outside of the box.’ This also helps with developing problem solving and divergent thinking skills.
  2. Confidence: To develop self-confidence in themselves. Doing art gives children practice stepping out of their comfort zone and allows them to make mistakes and learn from them. This gives children the confidence to perform what tasks assigned to them.
  3. Persistence/ Focus: No great art has been done without some degree of patience, time and belief in the idea that they have for a span of time. The ability to focus is a key skill developed through creating art. Recent research has shown that art can improve children’s ability to concentrate and focus in other aspects of their lives.

There was a time, where I was dumbfounded what to do with a 6 year old who refuse to do any of the projects that the class was working on. This child had a hard time sitting still and moved around often. When he gets an object in his hand, he would try to fix it or do something with the object. One example is a pencil sharpener. He would use it to sharpen pencils and the sides of the table. This kid was creative with what he has in his hands. I pass him an eraser, and he would be using it around the room.

Instead of drawing what was being taught in class, he would be more interested in drawing trains. What I ended up doing? Passing him a paper to draw a road and transportation vehicles. Not only that, because I wanted to challenge him. I ended up sticking 6 papers together to give him a long road. I can tell you I have never seen a kids eyes lit up like his. For a while he just concentrated on drawing different vehicles on this one long road.

He was happy.

What to do to encourage kids to innovate?

  1. Not giving them all the answers but giving them the tools they need to find out what the answers might be.
  2. Give them permission to explore: Within particular domains, it’s perfectly appropriate to say, “We’re interested in new and original ways you can approach these issues.
  3. Find out what captivates and interests them. People often achieve their own best work at a personal level when they connect with a particular medium or set of materials or processes that excites them. When a child’s interest is there, they will explore and discover and use what is there to make some thing. If a child is not so interested in drawing, they can try sculpture. If a child is more interested in design and colour, they can do something related to interior design and architecture.

Everyone has the potential to create art. Help foster and discover the artist in themselves. They will be amazed with the things they can make happen.

Have Faith. Most importantly, believe in your ability to bring out the best aspects of him or her out.

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