“Creativity flourishes when we have a sense of safety and self-acceptance.”
~ Julia Cameron
Each of us has our own internal “standards” of what we think is art and what we think is rubbish. Each of us looks at the world in our own unique way – especially artists.
If you have a creative or artsy teen, he or she will probably see things a little differently from you at times (or maybe all the time). And there may be parts of his or her artistic nature that drive you crazy. But it is vital that you give your teen freedom to create and a safe environment in which to do so.
For example, creative people are usually messy. We need to “see” our stuff because we’re more visual than most. Our workspace make look disorganized to others, but for the most part, we usually know where everything is. So, you can go round and round with your artsy teen about being neat and tidy, causing contention and strife, or you could choose to overlook their beautiful mess by closing their bedroom door. Besides, a tidy room may actually cramp their artistic vibe. 😉
And what if your emerging artist creates “art” that looks more like Picasso on LSD? Are you going to criticize her efforts and quench those creative juices, or will you allow her to articulate things that are deep inside her?
Or, perhaps your aspiring musician all of a sudden decides to dress like a 80s punk-rocker. He may need to express his uniqueness in a way that makes you cringe when you go out in public as a family. Why not just loosen up a bit and roll with it?
By giving your teen freedom to explore his or her creative side, while offering them a “soft place to land” without judgment or criticism, you add value to them and give them confidence to go after their dreams.
Artistic expression is a personal act of courage and often goes against the status quo. Give your teen freedom to explore their potential by accepting their quirkiness. They may grow out of it, or they may change the world for the better because of it.
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Alisha Gratehouse is an artist, art instructor, minister’s wife, and homeschooling mom of three. Her days are filled with creating, painting, writing, drinking lots of tea, laughing with (and at) her family, and spontaneously bursting forth into song. Alisha is the author of several books including, A Life That Flourishes.