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Creative Ways to Help Your Child Express Herself

By Brittney Storm Rankin on 09/11/2015 | Featured Columns & Series

One of the best ways to boost your child's confidence is to encourage healthy self-expression. Use the following tips to help your girl be more creative and expressive.

Pay attention to what inspires her. Does she love dressing up in costumes? Is she proud of her writing in school? Does she love to sing or dance? Encourage her to build on those activities, whether that means signing up for a music class, giving her a sketchbook or journal, or encouraging her to try out for the school play.

Get cultured. Enjoy cultural activities together, such as concerts, plays, arts and crafts festivals, poetry readings, art galleries, gardens, beautiful buildings or dance performances to expand her horizons and show her what is possible through creativity.

Encourage risk-taking. Even if she doesn't get a part in the play or her project isn't chosen for the school science fair, tell her you are proud of her hard work and that you hope she'll continue the activity she enjoys even if she didn't get the result she hoped for this time.

Compliment her! Tell her you admire the unique colors she chose for her drawing or the story she wrote for her English class. Display her work on the fridge or in your office. Let her practice her songs or dance routines at home and cheer her on.

Let her do the work. While you can offer advice, avoid putting the finishing touches on her projects. Let her stretch her mind, creativity and problem-solving skills.

Avoid comparison. Avoid comparing your child to another student or sibling ("Your sister is much faster at learning songs in piano lessons."). Recognize her own abilities and efforts, even if (and especially if!) she hasn't mastered an activity yet.

Make your home a creative space. Clear a space and stock up on craft supplies, such as colored paper, markers, stencils, glitter, kid-friendly scissors, ribbons, etc. so she can be creative whenever the mood strikes. Play different genres of music while cooking dinner or swap movie night for a board game night every so often. Decorate her room together and let her pick out colors and accessories that inspire her.

Laugh at her jokes. Bolster her sense of humor by encouraging her when she makes you or the family laugh. Tell her you appreciate her sense of humor.

How do you encourage your girl to express herself? Let us know in the comment section below! 

Brittney Storm Rankin

Author

Brittney Storm Rankin is a writer and communications consultant. She has been involved with Girls on the Run as a coach and is passionate about health and well-being, inspiring written content, and encouraging girls to reach their full potential. She lives with her husband in Greenville, S.C.

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