Raising Creative Children Part 2

In “Raising Creative Children Part 2,” I continue to share information about understanding the unique needs of our young artists. This week, I’m excited to share essential insights and practical tips to help parents and educators recognize the importance of providing time and space in a creative child’s daily life. By fostering an environment that nurtures their imagination and respects their need for unstructured moments, we can help our children truly thrive and develop their creative potential.

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Following the enthusiastic response to Part 1, I continue our journey into understanding and nurturing the unique talents of our young creatives. We want to be aware of their needs so their talent can be fully developed.

Creative Children View Life Differently

A creative child views the world through a lens of endless possibilities, where every ordinary object holds the potential for extraordinary transformation. They see patterns, colors, and stories in the most mundane settings, turning every day into a canvas for their imagination. Their perspective is rich with curiosity and wonder, and they constantly seek to explore, understand, and reinvent the world around them.

Common Needs of Creative Children

Creative children often display a unique set of traits and behaviors that distinguish them from their peers. I could list many characteristics of a creative child, but these will help you identify the common characteristics :

  • Vivid Imagination: Creative children frequently have rich imaginations and enjoy inventing stories, games, and scenarios.
  • Curiosity: They often ask a lot of questions and show a keen interest in exploring and understanding the world around them.
  • Energetic: Creative children are usually energetic and enthusiastic, particularly when engaged in activities they are passionate about.
  • Resilience: They are often persistent and resilient, willing to tackle challenges and learn from failures.
  • Self-Directed: Creative children often prefer working independently and may resist conventional instructions or routines.
  • Depth of Emotion: They often experience and express deep and complex emotions through their creative outlets.

When we pay attention to what our creative children need, we can better nurture their creative potential effectively.

Creatives Need Encouragement

Encouraging your creative child doesn’t have to be complicated; small, everyday actions can make a significant impact. Here are some practical examples to help nurture and inspire your child’s creativity at home.

  • Provide creative time and space to think and form ideas.
  • Encourage exploration and experimentation: Allow your child the freedom to experiment with different art forms, materials, and techniques, encouraging them to take risks and embrace mistakes as valuable learning experiences.
  • Celebrate effort, not just results. Creative children tend to be more sensitive to failure, and they thrive when we praise their progress.
  • Teach them how to fail. Failure can cause them to produce better work.
  • Watch for naysayers who discourage your creative child.

Creatives tend to push the boundaries of everyday reason. We want them to take risks and be adventurers, innovators, and explorers, but we must be careful not to make them conformists.

Supporting children’s artistic journey not only fosters their talents but also contributes to their overall personal development. By encouraging exploration, offering support, and celebrating their efforts, you are not only helping your child develop their creative talents but also instilling confidence and resilience that will benefit them throughout their lives.

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Reduce Kids School Year Stress

You can reduce kids school year stress so they can enjoy this season of life. Most kids experience stress when faced with end-of-year exams, graduation, and other requirements. Helping children learn how to manage their stress levels will allow them to finish their year with excellence and gain confidence in the process.

While the end of the year can be an exciting time, it doesn’t come without a measure of stress. I mean, trying to juggle assignments, final exams, and graduations can put a lot of pressure on your children. So, what can you do to help your children manage it all? How do you know if your kids are getting overwhelmed?

Last week, I discussed When Children Move Out on Equipped To Be. This week, we are discussing Reducing Kids School Year Stress. While obstacles and stress are common, kids have to learn some principles that can help them navigate them well and possibly change their future.

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Many experts believe there are signs parents should look for as the school year comes to a close. That’s why I’m excited to share this episode with you and your family. I want you to know how to help your kids manage stress so they can know what they can do in future situations.

What Should Parents Look For

Are they acting up or lashing out? Are they struggling to get sleep or trying to stay up all night to study? Do they fear failing? Pay attention to the words they say and their body language. When kids are under stress, their actions will tell us how they feel.

When you know how your child thinks, feels, and processes life’s challenges, you have an opportunity to encourage them in a way they will understand and appreciate.

I like to begin by gathering as much information as possible about the circumstances. The more you know about their schedule the more relevant your instructions can be.

  • When are the exams? What time of day? Find out how they feel about the subject matter.
  • Tell your child they are learning valuable life management skills, not just academics, during this period of time.
  • Help your children put the time in context. Tell them to think of this as a sprint, not a marathon. Using visuals helps some kids understand better. For kids, having a grasp of time can reduce anxiety and stress.
  • Pray and ask the Lord to give you wisdom as you teach your children.

The benefits of carefully identifying what they need from you are that your help will be better for them. Once you have all the information, I recommend assessing their sleep, daily schedule, study habits, fears, and whether additional tutors are needed.

Reduce Stress with Sleep and Schedule

Parents know the importance of sleep, but kids don’t fully understand that. Which is why they often stay up too late and get up early to prepare for a final exam. But learning to shut things down at a decent hour so they can get sleep will improve their performance. How can we do this?

  • List what needs to be done. Then, prioritize them.
  • Silence cell phones and/or put them in another room. This will remove the temptation to scroll on social media or talk with friends when one should be sleeping.
  • Set an external alarm that reminds them what they are supposed to be doing at specific times. I use one word: focus, math, science, reading, etc. Doing this helps them get back on track if they get distracted.
  • Create a schedule and put it on the refrigerator. This will make the schedule the enforcer, not you.

I’m sure you and your child can add more things they can do to get enough sleep and create a workable schedule.

Don’t Ask Too Many Questions

Asking some children too many questions can actually increase their stress. Simple checking in with questions like “How are your studies going?” or ” How are you holding up?” can be just enough to let you know you are interested and available if they need you. Saying confident boasting statements can also help.

  • I know you’ll do your best.
  • I believe in your ability to handle the pressure.

If you have specific concerns or see your child not making the effort to do well, you can speak up. But first, remember your goal and how they will receive what you say.

Overreacting Increases A Child’s Stress

Wanting kids to excel in their studies is good, but if we aren’t mindful of our expectations, we can show disapproval if they don’t achieve our standards. Keep in mind the goal during this season. We want kids to learn how to manage stress when they are under pressure to perform. If they don’t get the grades or pass the exam with what they or you wanted, don’t immediately start telling them what they did wrong. That won’t help them. Most of the time, they already feel bad.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Tell yourself the truth about a situation. You didn’t fail your child.
  • Tell your child the truth about the situation. Your child will learn from this failure and do better next time.
  • Ask the Lord to help you find what your child did right. Don’t make your child feel worse than they already do because they know what they did or didn’t do.
  • Remind your child that God has a plan for them, and it is for their good.

Doing this takes practice. I’ve had to watch my kids work through failing, missing the cut, not putting in enough effort, and not managing their time well, but they learn valuable lessons every time.

Help Them Improve Their Grades

It’s not uncommon for kids to struggle in some subjects. Expecting them to be superior in every school subject would be unrealistic. If your child expresses concern, ask them if they think a tutor would be helpful. Or, if you know the subject well, offer to be a study partner or do flashcards or other creative ways to learn and retain the information that is needed.

Most Important: Ask Them How They Feel

Asking a child how they feel makes them feel loved and cared for. When I was writing Parenting Beyond the Rules, my research showed that most kids don’t think their parents are interested in what they are learning. And their number one complaint was that their parents didn’t listen to them. Oddly enough, most parents don’t feel like their kids want to talk to them.

So, if you show interest in what they are doing, ask the right questions, help them create a schedule, get enough sleep, and avoid overreacting if they underperform, your relationship will flourish, and they will learn how to manage future stress when life gets challenging.

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Make Homeschooling Easier with Zan Tyler – ETB #181

My guest, Zan Tyler, shares how parents can make homeschooling easier and strengthen relationships using a few simple activities your children will enjoy.

As a veteran homeschool mom, Zan Tyler believes parents can make homeschooling easier by adding a few simple activities to motivate children on their homeschool journey.

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What can we do to make learning fun while making homeschooling easy? Zan shares three ideas and some sage advice I’m sure you will enjoy.

Embracing God’s Call

Embracing God’s call isn’t always easy, but Zan’s story is filled with defining moments where she witnessed God’s hand guiding her through the process. Through these experiences, she realized that her purpose is to support and encourage homeschool moms like enjoy the adventure.

Making Homeschooling Easier

Zan understands the challenges of homeschooling and wants to help you make your homeschool days more enjoyable. Here are a few tips she shared:

Break up the school week by designating a special day that your kids can look forward to.

Focus on the unique gifts that homeschooling offers, such as the flexibility of time, the ability to explore new ideas, and the spontaneity it allows.

Look for serving opportunities that you and your children can do together. Engaging in service activities strengthens the bond between you and your kids.

Plan mid-week outings or activities outside the house to bring excitement and variety to your homeschool routine.

Encourage your family members to embrace their individual strengths and find meaningful ways to redeem each day.

Building Strong Relationships

Zan emphasizes the importance of building strong relationships within your homeschooling journey. She quotes Mother Teresa, who said, “If you want to bring happiness to the whole world, go home and love your family.”

Here are some practical tips to making homeschooling easier

  • Love each other well by intentionally investing time and effort into nurturing your relationships.
  • Take the time to truly understand and get to know your children, their unique motivations, and learning styles.
  • Give yourself grace as you navigate the homeschooling journey. Remember, it’s all new, and mistakes are part of the learning process.
  • Learn to incorporate your faith into your daily homeschool routine, allowing God to guide you every step of the way.

We must trust in God’s leading to help make homeschooling easier

By implementing these practical tips and embracing the lessons shared in this episode, you can make homeschool easier and more fulfilling while strengthening the bond within your family.

Trust in God’s plan, cherish your relationships and enjoy the adventure of homeschooling. Together, we can strengthen today’s families and create a brighter future.

About Zan Tyler

Zan Tyler’s homeschool journey began in 1984 when homeschooling was illegal, and she was threatened with jail. For eight years, she and other families battled for homeschool freedom and established landmark homeschool legislation in South Carolina. In 1990, she founded the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools (SCAIHS) and served as its president for ten years.

Zan loves to empower parents as they answer their God-given calling to homeschool. She is an inspirational speaker and author. For sixteen years, Zan worked with Christian publishers developing homeschool curriculum and resources. She is now a consultant with BJU Press Homeschool. Zan’s greatest privilege in life was homeschooling their three children through high school. Zan is the host of the Zan Tyler Podcast, sponsored by BJU Press Homeschool. Join Zan and a special guest each week for real encouragement, engaging stories, and practical wisdom for surviving and thriving on the homeschool journey.

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The Importance of Easing Kids Back Into School – ETB #178

It’s that time of year again – the start of a new school year! Whether you’re a seasoned parent or you have a new kindergartener, the mixed feelings of nervousness, excitement, and anxiety are likely familiar. In this episode, we are going to talk about transitioning smoothly into a new school year and the importance of easing kids back into school.

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Let’s just first acknowledge now that there’s a bit of upheaval that happens at back-to-school time. Your kids are learning new things and adjusting to new schedules. Be mentally prepared for this.

Easing into the School Year

Here are my suggestions for ways of easing your kids back into school and setting them up for a great year:

Be sure to talk to your kids about any anxiety they may have.

This might be anxiety about the challenges of new things or it might be social challenges. Connect with your kids about how to process their emotions. Temper your expectations of your children, and yourself.

Be prepared and reduce stress by meal planning.

Having the groceries in the house and at least a rough plan of what you’re going to cook will make your days run more smoothly. Don’t forget to think about nutrition! Your child’s brain is developing rapidly and they need healthy fats and proteins in addition to good carbs. Set consistent meal times and set your day by working backward to make sure that meals happen on time and avoid children becoming hangry.

Help your kids develop good study habits and related routines.

Show them how to focus. Give them a space in which to study. Provide organizational systems and skills.

Include physical exercise and free play in your days.

Create margin in the schedule for these activities. Don’t give up this time in order to get other things done!

Create an atmosphere in your home that your children will want to remember.

An atmosphere of warmth, excitement, and enthusiasm is contagious. Write down the words you want your kids to use to describe your home after they’ve left your home as adults. Be and do the things needed to embody those words.

Remove distractions and provide the resources they need to be successful.

What is in the way of your child achieving their goals? Determine what is needed of you to reach those goals? What is keeping you from being available for your child?

Make It a Great Year

Every school year brings its own set of unique joys and excitements and challenges. I hope your children look back on this school year as a year of blessings and call it a great year!

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How to Win Over Worry with Keri Eichberger – ETB #177

Do you worry? Seems like every time you turn around, there’s another headline that strikes fear and causes worry these days. What about your kids? Do you worry about them? Do you worry you will ruin them? Do you worry about the things they will have to face? What can you do about worry? Well, Keri Eichberger is with me in this episode to talk about these big issues surrounding worry. Keri offers encouraging insights and reminds us of the power of God’s truth in conquering worry and finding peace in all seasons of life. You can win over worry!

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In this episode, Keri and I discuss:

  • Keri’s family dynamics with five children and how that lends itself to an environment of worrying
  • How you can help someone if you are just one step ahead of them
  • The distinction between genuine concern and worry
  • Understanding the root fears behind worry, which often include a fear of helplessness and a fear of being unloved or unworthy
  • Understanding God’s unconditional love and his power
  • Overcoming worry by seeking God’s truth, turning to prayer, embracing community, studying the Bible, and other spiritual practices
  • Acknowledging that some individuals may be more predisposed to worry due to their wiring, but still emphasizing the same things work for those people
  • Keri’s example of a fear of flying and trusting God

Worry is common and we all face it. But, worry is not from God and you can overcome it through the power of God who lives in you!

About Keri Eichberger

Keri Eichberger lives just outside of Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband Mike and their five kids. Her own roller coaster of life trials, redeemed by a relationship with the Lord, fueled her desire to help others discover and experience the fullness of life found in Jesus. After years of writing for an online audience, she became ordained through Southeast
Christian Church, giving her life to full-time ministry. She continues to follow her calling to bring faith-filled encouragement to others around the world through her social media influence, devotionals, Faith Fueled podcast,
and Christian nonfiction books.

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Cultural Shifts with Michael Farris – ETB #172

I had the opportunity to meet up with my long-time friend Michael Farris at the National Religious Broadcasters convention a few weeks ago. He graciously agreed to have a conversation with me to share with you here at Equipped To Be. Michael has such a breadth of experience and knowledge in the areas of homeschooling, the Constitution, free speech, and legal defense of these topics. We spent some time talking about the cultural shifts that are being seen in our country and what we as Christians can do about it.

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This episode is sponsored by BJU Press Homeschool. Visit bjupresshomeschool.com for trusted educational resources from a biblical worldview.

Michael and I talk about:

  • Michael’s background, including his involvement in the homeschool movement, the founding of HSLDA, and his leadership roles in various organizations focused on protecting families and promoting the gospel of Christ.
  • The importance of delegating and empowering others to shine for long-term success.
  • The cultural shifts in America: those who hate God vs those who love God
  • The importance of the 1st Amendment: Totalitarianism and control of what you think
  • The dangers of suppressing dissenting opinions
  • Being open about your faith, your homeschooling, your lifestyle, etc.
  • The fight for our families, our children, our grandchildren, and our future.
  • Michael’s new project coming this fall
  • Stand up, Show up, Speak up.

I hope that my conversation with Michael has inspired and equipped you. These cultural shifts are happening all around us. What will you do next to stand up, show up, and speak up?

About Michael Farris

Former President & CEO Alliance Defending Freedom (2017-2022)

Farris was also founding president of both the Home School Legal Defense Association (1983), Patrick Henry College (2000), ParentalRight.org (2009), Convention of the States.

In 2022, Farris accepted a post at the NRB.org in the Office of General Counsel.

Farris has specialized in constitutional appellate litigation. In that capacity, he has argued before the appellate courts of 13 states, eight federal circuit courts of appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court, where in 2018 he successfully argued NIFLA v. Becerra, resulting in a free speech victory for California’s pro-life pregnancy centers.

Farris has testified many times before both the House and Senate. He was an executive committee member of the Coalition for the Free Exercise of Religion that successfully lobbied Congress for the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. He also has substantial experience in international religious freedom advocacy.

Farris is the author of over 15 books, as well as law review and other scholarly and popular articles. He and his wife, Vickie, have 10 children and many grandchildren.

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