ADHD and creativity sometimes might feel like two sides of the same coin. While many people tend to focus on the negatives of ADHD, there exist many positives. A creative mind provides possibly one of the biggest strengths of your child with ADHD.
Here at FastBraiin, we do not see ADHD as an illness but rather as a different wiring of the brain. ADHD does have many negative symptoms and effects. In many ways, though, we see ADHD as a gift and one of the many positives of that gift is a creative mind.
If you have a child with ADHD, though, how can you best harness that creativity and help it grow? In this article, we want to look at different ways you can encourage creativity in your child with ADHD.
#1 Help Your Child Identify and See Their Own Strengths
Oftentimes children with ADHD feel like they can’t do anything right. They feel lost or left out at school. More likely than not, they tend to get and stay in trouble more than they stay out of it.
Your child might already feel a creative impulse. They may try to avoid it, though, because of a fear that they might be doing something wrong. To help encourage ADHD and creativity in your child, specifically tell them when they are being creative, and tell them that creativity is good.
Give them avenues to pursue creative outlets and honestly tell them how good they are at it. They might feel like they fail at many things. By showing them their strengths, though, you can encourage their creativity.
Tell them, they have special skills, because they do. Let them know, that yes, they may have ADHD, but also that the ADHD brain can be more creative.
#2 Show them Examples of Other People Who Have ADHD and are Creative
Another way to boost ADHD and creativity in your child includes giving them examples of other creative people with ADHD. Your child might often feel like because of ADHD they are weird or alone.
You need to tell them the opposite. Through ADHD, they belong to a group of particularly creative and successful people. They should find pride in this.
Some of the greatest ADHD minds include Walt Disney and Albert Einstein and other very creative people. Additionally, many well known actors have ADHD. You can show your child examples of many celebrities with ADHD who have found much success in their professions.
Knowing and seeing the success of others will encourage your child’s creativity and might drive them to pursue new creative outlets.
#3 Don’t Be So Quick to Correct Errors
You know a lot of things, and you know the correct ways to do those things. We all have things we have learned and can teach others. As a parent, you want to teach your child what they need to know and what you have learned.
And you should. What you shouldn’t always do, though, is insist that they do everything exactly in a set order.
To encourage ADHD and creativity in your child, you need to learn to embrace the creative process and be open to improvisation. These are two of the great tips available on how to encourage creativity in ADHD students. They both reflect the same idea: let your child find their own way.
Yes, you should teach your ADHD child how to do things. When they come up with new approaches, though, don’t automatically correct them and have them do it “your” way. Work with them to help them find “their” way that can be just as effective. In the process, you will help grow their creative energies.
#4 Encourage Your Child to Participate in Creative Group Activities
ADHD and creativity don’t just occur in a vacuum. Your child’s creativity feeds off the resources and environments that you provide for them. While social interactions sometimes may be hard for children with ADHD, you should still encourage them to participate in creative group activities.
The focus on creative activities that they enjoy helps to stimulate your child's creativity. The group nature helps them both to learn from others and to improve their social interactions.
Many students with ADHD might shy away from groups because they believe they don’t have anything to contribute. This might have more to do with the activity, though, than the group event. Research has shown that participants with ADHD helped to improve the problem solving of a group.
Though your child might be cautious of group activities at first, group work can provide great benefits in the end. Help your child enjoy working in groups by finding an activity they already enjoy. Continue to foster their creativity by linking them up with other students who enjoy the same things.
#5 Give Them Space, Time, and Resources to Be Creative
To help ADHD and creativity grow in your child you need to more than anything provide them the tools to practice their creativity. Encouraging creativity in kids with ADHD takes some effort and patience. To make this possible, you need to invest more than just casual interest.
If possible, you should make a space in your home that your child knows functions as their “creative” space. This place, maybe a portion of their room or a separate spare room, will be open for them to draw, write, paint or create as they want. You should let them know that the space exists for them to do what they want.
You need to also give them time and tools to get creative. Make sure to carve out some regular time maybe for a few minutes each evening or on the weekends for your child to be creative. Then buy them markers or paints and paper for them to use for whatever they want to do.
In giving them space, time, and resources, you can encourage your child's creative energies to grow. Your child will get a chance to release some energy and have fun.
Helping Cultivate ADHD and Creativity
We hope that this article has provided you with more tools to help cultivate ADHD and creativity in your child. Your child with ADHD has many strengths. Don’t let them get overwhelmed by their weaknesses.
Use the tips here and in other places to support your child’s creativity. Continue to help them build on their creative passions.
Encourage them to be creative and to pursue their passions. Eventually this will lead them to find success in many areas in their life.