Creative Confidence – Patience and Persistence

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Creative Confidence – Idea 8

Having creative confidence is trusting and valuing each and every one of your ideas and taking creative risks.

In the Art Studio this is goal #1 – to instill creative confidence in every visitor that walks through the door – no matter what the project is, what medium we are exploring, or what collaborative project we are constructing.

We regularly post new ideas about how to instill creative confidence in children at home and in the classroom.  This month is an important one:

Idea 8 – Patience and Persistence.

If you so choose, every mistake can lead to greater understanding and effectiveness. If you so choose, every frustration can help you to be more patient and more persistent.

– Ralph Marston

It’s a fact: creativity can be frustrating. Sometimes your child might get frustrated if they are not able to make something, anything, the way they want it to be or the way they think it should be. I’ve been a witness to this frustration (and experienced it myself) all too many times.

In school and at home children are confronted with tasks that are at or beyond the limits of their capabilities, which can often lead to frustration. How children learn to handle setbacks and persist in the face of frustration can be a huge part of their success in life. Patience and persistence are valuable skills for every child, little or big, to learn.

Some ways to teach these skills:

  • When you see your child becoming frustrated with something they are working on, have them take a break…step back and do something else and then come back and start again .
  • Ask questions about why they are feeling frustrated: What don’t you like? Why don’t you like it? What can you do to change it? Having them articulate and pinpoint what bothers them will help them be able to better change it.
  • Let your child know when something is hard for you too! Model the behavior you want to see in your child. It is important with children to know that a feeling that they are experiencing is a feeling that other people experience too. Until they experience it themselves they don’t necessarily know it.
  • Slow down. Set aside more time than you think is needed for your child to engage their creativity. Give them plenty of time to explore and re-explore.
  • Have your child transform what they are working on into something else – some easy ways of doing this to a 2D/flat work of art: turn it upside down; add a new art-making medium like paint or oil pastels or torn up paper or noodles; spray it with water; cover it with stickers.
  • Do a RE-DO! Have your child destroy what they are working on, and start over. The destruction part should be fun, and maybe a little silly (got a paper shredder sitting around?)! For children to know that sometimes it’s OK to start over and have a re-do is important. And re-dos can be done with anything.

When children see finished products by other artists, it can be easy to assume that those pieces of work were accomplished with little struggle; that somehow that person who made that piece did so simply, and effortlessly.  What they don’t see is that EVERYONE struggles at times, and that some of the greatest work is a result of managing through, and even turning struggles to one’s advantage.  Sometimes a little patience and persistence can result in wonderful results, and sometimes they are necessary ingredients to creating and being creative.  So look for these opportunities to encourage your child to learn patience and persistence…these are skills that will serve them well in their art and in their lives.

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