Creating something of value is intensely satisfying and fulfilling. Creativity is an expression of ourselves, especially when shared as a gift with others.

Some years ago, creatives were informed “You didn’t build that!” as if the value of our ideas and accomplishments is wiped out by the fact that all ideas have roots elsewhere. Of course they do! We all stand on the shoulders of giants, and we are grateful. Creativity, production, and accomplishment are a way of expressing our gratitude–of “paying it forward.” Just because we didn’t “put the water in the well” doesn’t mean that there was nothing praiseworthy about planning and planting and nurturing a garden.

I’m bringing this up because the encouragement of praise is vital if we want our children to grow in creativity. If every time they take the risk of “putting themselves out there” they receive ridicule or even just the lukewarm feedback of the perpetually unimpressed, they will cease trying.

The encouragement of praise is vital if we want our children to grow in creativity. Click To Tweet

You see, the creative cycle moves from idea to excitement to panic. It takes guts to stand out. To do what no one else is doing. To try what may fail.

Our children need to feel the satisfaction of their own efforts, to learn to try and try again until what’s in their hands matches what’s in their heads. They need to hear from us, “You did that? Wow! Tell me about it.”