Fatherhood has taught me the importance of being present and productive during my time with my daughter, Ava. We spent so much quality time together over the last few months this summer, and I have had the pleasure of learning more about her and observing her discover new interests and talents.
My childhood always involved creativity, so when I became a Dad, I knew I wanted to share similar experiences with my kid. I am lucky because Ava also has the creative gene. She’s always interested in an opportunity to create—with sewing, modeling, photography, painting, cooking, baking, designing, jewelry making, hairstyling, dancing, candle making, and coloring. It has been an awesome bonding experience.
Here’s how a spark of curiosity to learn how to sew enabled Ava and me to do so many creative things together. Since you already know how to sew, can you recognize some sparks of curiosity in your kids?
Start by Recognizing Your Kid’s Unique Creativity
As a parent, my goal is to assist Ava in being confident, self-sufficient, and capable of expressing herself in the most effective way that will benefit her, not to hold her hand throughout the entire creative process.
In all the years I have sewed, Ava is always nearby watching the process. She usually checks on me and gives me encouraging words to finish my projects. My early sewing journey involved observing Ava’s personality and attitude—she was always energetic, sassy, and loved to take pictures. I thought she would love to model, so she modeled the clothes I made for her.
I have learned she is very much a part of the process, and it is essential for her voice to be heard. The ideas and visions she has are important; I want her to feel empowered.
The first day we went out to take pictures, I simply asked her to walk. She was a natural. She’s not always in the mood to model, and I respect that. As she gets older, she has become more opinionated on fabric choices, designs, and the locations where we take photos. I have learned she is very much a part of the process, and it is essential for her voice to be heard. The ideas and visions she has are important; I want her to feel empowered.
Ava sewed her first dress in 2017—it was a dress for her pre-school graduation. She had expressed her interest in sewing over the years, but this year I noticed she was consistent in asking to sew. She began by making a face mask. She was very proud. Next, she sewed a baby bib and washcloth. We recently did a live demonstration of making a skirt pattern. Ava came home afterward and sewed her skirt and made a matching shirt as well—her interest has peaked again, and she is in full control of when she likes to sew.
I assist and guide Ava along the way, but I always want her decision to sew to be her own.
Empower Kids with Crafts
“A Craft A Day” is a challenge I created with Ava to explore new and exciting ways to express her creativity. Ava came up with ideas of a creative task she would like to complete—some projects were just for her, and some were for the both of us to do together.
All relationships require balance. With children, it is extremely important to find a happy medium with what you think is best as a parent and what they want to do.
Many of the projects used items we already had at home, and any materials we had to purchase were inexpensive and could also be used in the future. Ava’s enthusiasm and commitment to the challenge was amazing. She held herself accountable through the process, and as she completed a task, she established more confidence in her abilities.
The purpose of the challenge was to have fun, make the best of free time, and utilize creativity as an avenue of expression—and we accomplished that mission.
5 Tips to Spark Creativity in Kids
Often, kids are interested in so many different things, and helping them discover their talents on their own is essential. This is a process that requires effort from both the parent and child. Here are a few tips that I found to be effective in helping my child utilize her creativity:
- Communicate: Have a conversation with your child, be sure to listen and be open-minded to their ideas and opinions. Ask questions and offer your support.
- Participate: Get involved, be a team player and cheerleader. Offer encouragement but be sure to allow your child space to succeed or fail on their own.
- Pay Attention: Observe the effort and energy your child puts into the task, be sure to check-in and see how they are doing and if it is something they want to continue to do.
- Accountability: Allow your child to take full ownership of their creativity. Give them responsibilities and challenges. See how they respond and then let them know you are proud.
- Have Fun: Try new things, explore, enhance, and nurture what works. Utilize the time to bond and learn more about each other.
There are No Rules for Exploring Creativity
There are no rules for exploring creativity. Simply just go for it. I am currently using the tips above as inspiration while I maneuver through guiding Ava on her sewing journey.
All relationships require balance. With children, it is extremely important to find a happy medium with what you think is best as a parent and what they want to do. Ava and I communicate about everything. I believe our open communication allows us to do any and everything together freely. Our bond is built on encouraging and supporting each other through positivity. Sewing, modeling, and all the other crafting we do is a bonus.
The two of us just love each other and enjoy each other’s company. It is exciting to think of what the future holds for us both and where this creative journey will take us. It is a blessing to have creativity be a part of our relationship because I get to marry the two aspects of my life that mean the most to me: fatherhood and creativity.