One of the many wonderful things about being a parent is watching time and experience sculpt the person that your son or daughter will grow up to be. To see their personalities emerge as they start walking, talking and making sense of the world on their own terms. Some children develop personalities that are vivacious, outgoing and fun loving. Others get shy and reticent. Many veer between the two depending on their circumstances. But whatever personality your child develops, as they get older they need to be able to express themselves. While their education will do a lot of the heavy lifting in helping them to find a voice, a creative outlet in and outside of school is a very important part of your little one’s development.
But not every child is born a natural performer. Indeed, some may be very shy when it comes to expressing themselves in front of others. Fortunately, there are lots of creative outlets that help shy kids grow more confident and self-assured, potentially bringing them out of their shells and helping them become more developed not just in their craft but socially and academically.
Even if you’re right at the start of your parenting journey, it’s worth thinking about how you can encourage your child to express themselves if they’re not born performers…
Drawing / painting
Drawing and painting are fundamental skills that help little ones to make sense of the visual language of the world around them. While we may think of drawing as a simple thing (we all doodle in pour margins during boring lectures or meetings, after all) it’s actually quite a complex process for a child’s mind. It requires focus, recall and imagination. All of which are essential for cognitive development as your child gets older. So if they show an affinity for drawing or painting, it could bode well for their future performance in school.
Many kids are shy when it comes to play acting in school productions, nativity plays and other adorable theatrics. Still, if they don’t feel comfortable expressing themselves verbally in front of an audience, they may be happier expressing themselves through movement. Dance is one of the purest forms of communication, and we’ve been using it to express ourselves long before we started painting on cave walls or scribbling letters on parchment. Get your child involved with dance now and they could find themselves training with The Royal Academy of Dance before you know it. At the very least they’ll get more confident and co-ordinated in their movements.
Building and crafting
Building and crafting, be it with lego bricks or lolly sticks, are a fantastic combination of creative expression and problem solving. They help kids engage with logistics, physics and all kinds of important things which will help them in later study while also allowing them a way to make their voice heard.
Finally, most sports also offer a combination of problem solving and creative expression while also helping to build social and teamwork skills. While some shy children find sport intimidating, being part of a friendly and encouraging group may be able to change that.