Even before they start attending school, children develop their imagination and creativity, which gives them several intellectual and emotional benefits. Aside from helping them learn better, creativity also helps children build their confidence and develop their social skills.
In an episode of Teach With Joy about parenting, author, wife, and homeschooling mom Joy Mendoza also emphasized the role of parents in honing their child’s creativity. Mendoza states that all children express their creativity in different ways, and parents need to understand that no two children are the same. She talked to actress, TV host, and singer Toni Gonzaga-Soriano about how she passes the value of creativity to her son Seve, who turned five last September.
Gonzaga-Soriano believes that parents need to balance having rules and giving freedom to their children when it comes to developing their creativity. She states that she also encourages creativity in her son in their home, but that she also has limits. Parents should also give playtime to their children, whether it’s with them or with other children. Playing with other children allows them to have interaction, share their interests, absorb their energy, and just observe and learn from other kids.
On whether creativity is a gift or not, Gonzaga-Soriano believes that it is a gift but that it can also be honed and developed. She states her belief that the purpose of parents is to tap into their creativity, push them, support them, and expose them to their interests until they find their passion. While she believes that parents should assist their children at the start, they should also eventually let them go and give them some freedom to help them become their own person.
Her motherhood journey has also taught her a lot of lessons, such as the importance of communication. Gonzaga-Soriano said that parents should have conversations with their kids even when they don’t understand them yet, because they absorb everything and these conversations stick with them. She also shares that the most important thing that Seve has taught her is the importance of being present. Even when parents are with their children physically, they can be worrying about other things and mentally absent or on their phones instead of spending time with them.
Another important topic that Mendoza and Gonzaga-Soriano talked about is how parents should regulate their child’s use of gadgets, as they emphasized the importance of setting boundaries. The parents should be the ones to instill discipline when it comes to their child’s use of gadgets. However, one challenge brought by the COVID-19 pandemic is that children need to use gadgets and spend most of their time in front of screens because of their online classes.
In the end, both mothers agreed that it has to be a good balance. Children shouldn’t rely on their gadgets too much for entertainment, especially when they are unable to use them to develop their imagination. But at the same time, parents shouldn’t also completely deprive their children of gadgets, TV, and similar forms of entertainment. Her motherhood journey has also taught Gonzaga-Soriano that parenting is not just about learning things but also about unlearning. She believes that parenting is something that should be tailor-made for each parent and not merely passed on, as parents need to make their own style that fits them and their dynamic with their child.
For new parents, she says that they should let their children grow and learn allow them to be their own person and respect their design and avoid killing their creativity. The most important thing she learned about her parenting journey so far is for parents to be there and to be fully engaged with their children. They should love them and give them support, encourage them, and give them affirmations that they need. It is important for parents to just be there for their children and allow them to be the person they went to be and help them tap into their creativity which will play an important role as they grow.
Mendoza says that since we are all created from God’s image, we are thus born to create. However, it is also important for parents to have an environment for their children that fosters that creativity and be aware of attitudes that could hinder that creativity. It is important for parents to be positive and encouraging to their kids and give them the freedom to explore what they want to do as they grow up.