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Support and Advice from TNPC's Parenting Experts





Artistic expression opens the heart to new learning for many children, allowing them to gain control over strong feelings, and letting them transform emotions into new and creative energies.

Provide your child with paint, clay and collage materials for creating visual art. Supply her with simple and sturdy musical instruments she can use to express herself melodically and rhythmically.

Have an area of the house devoted to creative play, with a puppet theater, a playhouse, or simply an open space that can be used for dance, drama, or other forms of imaginative expression.

Then, observe these guidelines:

• Don’t judge or evaluate your child’s creative products. Nothing squelches the artistic spirit more than comparison and criticism.

• Acknowledge your child’s artistic creations in simple ways; not with effusive praise, but with simple acceptance. Listen to what your child has to say about what she’s done or made, and respond in a natural way.

• Allow yourself from time to time to join in her creative process. But take care not to control her activity. Your child needs to be able to create in her own way.

Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. is an award-winning author and speaker with twenty-eight years of teaching experience from the primary through the doctoral level, and over one million copies of his books in print on issues related to learning and human development. He is the author of nine books including Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, In Their Own Way, Awakening Your Child’s Natural Genius, 7 Kinds of Smart, The Myth of the A.D.D. Child, ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom, and Awakening Genius in the Classroom. His books have been translated into sixteen languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, Danish, and Russian.

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