The 4 Pillars of Raising an Artistically Conscious Child

Raising Artistically Conscious Child

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Sometimes being a parent is about exposing our kids to things that we know will be good for them in the long run. Ask many kids about reading, and a significant amount of them will tell you that they hate it because they have to do it in school. The creasame can be said of art, music, food, theatre, and dance. It’s important to give our children a greater appreciation of all forms of arts and culture, but what are the best ways to do this?

Freedom of Choice

Sometimes, we can take the wrong tact as a parent. If we want our children to get into literature that we know is good for them, they will instantly kick against this because it’s us recommending it and therefore we have to give our children the freedom to choose things that ultimately appeal to them. They can find a reason to not want to read something, but the Trojan horse approach can be an excellent tool. 

Arguably one of the best examples of literature in the last two decades that has got many people into reading is the Harry Potter series. There’s an abundance of themes bubbling under the surface. For example, the mud-bloods being a thinly veiled reference to Nazism. When we start to give our kids the ability to choose what they want and then show them the underlying themes that weren’t necessarily apparent at the time, this can give our kids a greater appreciation. 

Of course, with something like Harry Potter, there’s an abundance of tie-ins and merchandise. While a visit to a Harry Potter online store may be par for the course if you are introducing your kids to the Harry Potter series, if this can result in a minuscule appreciation for the literature, then consider this a win.

The Importance of Exposure

As parents who want their children to get into certain art forms, the tactic is very simple; it’s about giving them as much information as possible and then letting them filter out the things they want to explore. 

We should provide valuable opportunities whenever possible to immerse them in as many artistic styles and mediums as possible. What we need to remember at this point is that they should have the freedom to choose what appeals to them. As with anything in life, consistency beats intensity. So if we’re regularly introducing them to theatre, dance, music, photography, art, painting, sculpture, and anything that you deem to be relevant, they’re going to have a wider appreciation of diversity in general, which can make a big difference to how they view the world. 

We can all easily stick to our own path, and if you are looking to raise a more culturally conscious child, even if you were not, we have to ignite that spark of curiosity, and the only way to do this is to introduce them to things that they’ve never seen before. Every day is a school day, and there will be times when you take them to an art gallery and they will not appreciate anything. Sometimes we need to go a bit further and ask some questions about what it is, and sometimes they will give you a very simple answer that they just want to go home and play video games. But that’s okay too because video games can be an art form in itself, which takes us onto the next point…

Do Not Discriminate Against Any Art Form

If you feel that your children should foster an appreciation of an artist or a music style because you believe it’s going to make them a more intelligent individual, there can be subconscious discrimination at play here. There have been many studies that say classical music is fantastic for our children and in fact ourselves because it helps us concentrate. But if we purely focus on a handful of art forms and discriminate against others because of our perceptions of what it entails, then we’re not giving our children any freedom of choice. 

We can think that video games are going to rot their brains, and of course, as enthusiastic as children can be about video games, we can’t force them to play certain games that we think they should because they will react against this, but also they’ll have that innate understanding of whether the game is even that interesting. Take something like Fortnite, which is an incredibly popular kids’ game. There are an abundance of opportunities to learn about certain things that may not be so obvious on the surface; it can introduce them to different types of music, but there’s a number of benefits such as learning cooperative and communication skills, and improving planning and problem-solving. 

As parents, it can be so easy to discriminate against certain things they like, but it’s far better to embrace it and work with them on how they could benefit from playing certain things.

Support Creativity and Open-Mindedness

This is as much for us as it is for our children. We play a significant role in nurturing our children and giving them an appreciation for various artistic approaches and subjects. But if our children’s creative ambitions are stifled, especially in a school environment, we need to give them the tools they need to express themselves. 

Creating an environment that values and celebrates their creativity by offering various arts supplies, pens, papers, or whatever they would like to use to express themselves is essential. When we start to give our children the tools for self-expression without creating an environment of pressure or judgement and emphasising the process over the outcome, this will give children greater joy in appreciating what they’ve developed. 

You can then start to draw parallels with similar types of art forms based on what they’ve created. For example, if they are starting to create short stories, you can then point them towards similar authors or artists. There are many children under the age of 10 who’ve actually written poetry and books. For example, the eight-year-old self-published author Dillon Helbig. Creating a kinship is just as important as creativity because it makes them understand that appreciating things that potentially their friends don’t is an amazing way to express themselves and to be culturally conscious.

Fostering a culturally conscious child is something you can start to nurture in them from birth, and it won’t just make them more creative, but they will appreciate it so much more.

 

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