Little boy dreams can be very big. Sometimes those dreams come true and sometimes they’re stepping stones to other realities. Either way, when our homes are places of possibility, we give our boys room to grow the gifts and interests God has given them.

Our boys don’t come packaged with preconceived notions or burdened with expectations. Joey won’t necessarily be a doctor just because Dad is. You may be surprised by what God has in store!

One way to find our boy’s bent is to let him express his creativity—to follow his dream.

How do you cultivate a home base for growing those dreams?

1. Foster creativity rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

It’s easier to do things Mommy’s way or the way we’ve always done them, but when we open the door to our sons’ creativity, we affirm the gifts God has given them.

2. Reserve judgment on creative endeavors.

Yes, your five-year-old’s masterpiece doesn’t measure up to Michelangelo’s, but with creativity and kids, it’s important to concentrate on the journey, not the destination. Kids need time and room to explore and experiment, both of which nurture creativity.

3. Model kindness, interest, and an adventurous spirit for your sons.

Nothing squelches creativity more quickly than criticism, so be kind with each other’s efforts. If your sons see Mom treating a piece of unsophisticated artwork with kindness and interest, they’ll be more likely to follow suit.

An adventurous spirit—one open to new things and new ways of doing and seeing things—opens up new horizons to creativity. Rather than, “No, that will never work” try saying, “Let’s try that” or “Let’s talk about that.

4. Nurture a creative servant spirit.

It’s easy to concentrate on the final product—the artwork, the song, the performance, the winning score. Building toward the culmination can make us lose sight of the everyday wonder of creativity. Instead of nurturing your boy’s gifts with eyes on the prize, encourage everyday use. Who can your family minister to with their creativity?

Draw pictures and send them to someone who needs cheering up. Encourage that son who’s a great kicker to help the younger boys’ team. Practice some songs or skits and visit a hospital or nursing home. Concentrate on giving away the fruits of your boys’ creativity. It gives them a great way to express their creativity while ministering to others.

5. Leave time for creativity to blossom; keep an eye on family over-scheduling.

You can’t schedule creativity to occur from 3 to 4 pm every day. When the day is packed with practice and lessons with no downtime, it’s hard for the creative spirit to push through. Busyness crowds out creativity; downtime invites it. Our kids need time (and lack of electronic devices) so they can exercise their creativity. Quiet plus instruments of creativity—paper, paint, building materials, musical instruments—can yield some rich moments.

6. Acknowledge the Author of your art.

Remind your boys that God made us all individuals, giving us different gifts. Those abilities and interests and talents aren’t of our own making—they come from Him. Our expression of those gifts brings glory to Him. So teach your boys that their expressions of creativity, however big or small, however professional or amateur, are an act of worship.

When we give our abilities and interests to God, He uses the experiences that follow. Give your boys a chance to be all God created them to be by fostering their gifts and interests.

Make your home a place of possibility. Open the door to creativity and watch what happens.

More resources on kids and creativity

Why We Need to Let Kids Be Creative

Education and the Creativity Crisis

Why Art and Creativity Are Important