According to recent scientific research, creativity is an essential and important life skill. Researchers say that, “to prepare young people for work and life in the 21st century, educators (and parents) should cultivate creativity in their kids”. It has also been observed that creative people have better problem-solving skills and are more resilient in difficult situations. Creative people exude an aura of freshness and enthusiasm in their personalities.
Usually people associate creativity, albeit mistakenly, with someone who has artistic capability or an interest in any form of art and craft. However, creativity has a much larger scope. Creativity is involved in various aspects of our daily life- it is a tool that helps turn ideas into action. It is a combinational force that requires constant commitment and passion.
As parents, we want to raise bright children and want to ensure that they develop a good set of intellectual and problem-solving skills. Luckily, all kids are naturally creative and curious, and it is our job to give them the freedom, material, and space to let their creativity blossom to its full potential.
How can we support our kids to be creative individuals? And how can we raise creative children? Read on to know more!
CREATIVITY AND GENETICS
There is mixed opinion on the relationship between creativity and genetics. Some people think that creativity has a strong connection with genetics. Research conducted by the Department of Neurology and Neuroscience at Cornell University, discovered that “the brain of the artistically creative individual has a particular characteristic that may enhance creativity.” While some other experts believe that creativity is a skill more than inborn talent, and parents can help their kids to foster creativity at an early age.
Here are a few effective tips to raise creative kids:
Focus on the Process, Not on the End Result
As responsible parents, it is normal to want to force our kids to be perfect, and tell them repeatedly to focus on the end result of any project. But this parental behaviour does not work well in the long term. By forcing them, we restrict their creativity and imaginative power. The best way to foster creative activity is to allow them to enjoy the process. Enjoying the process and having fun is more important than creating a masterpiece with perfection.
Encourage Questioning and Respond to Your Child’s Curiosity with Patience
Kids are born curious. Their world is always full of new learning and unique experiences. They often have dozens of questions regarding their day to day experiences and observations. I agree, during our practical hectic life schedule, it might get slightly irritating, when your child asks “Why this…? and “Why that…?” a hundred times a day. But this is the time that tests your parental patience.
Be patient and try to answer their questions with a good mood and positivity. Give them a chance to explore their surroundings safely. Encourage them to make their own analysis. This process helps a lot in the long run, forming a good foundation for their creative thinking skills.
Reading offers amazing benefits for kids, ranging from language learning to cognitive and intellectual development. Reading also helps in raising the creative quotient of kids. According to Greg Norrell, President of Scholastic Classroom, “Reading is the birthright of every child and a door opener to leading successful lives”.
Reading expands the creative thinking skills of your children and exposes them to the latest information. It is a solid intellectual foundation for kids and helps make them creative thinkers in the future. You can try innovative and experimental ways to avail the maximum benefits of reading which include reading loud or acting the story out. This way kids learn a lot and gather experience in expressing themselves in a creative way.
Plan Creative Expeditions
This is my personal favourite method. I am obsessed with planning and executing different and interesting creative expeditions for my girls. It is a scientific fact that engaging your kids in any form of art, craft, DIY or academic projects raises their creative quotient. These activities help a lot in fostering their creative thinking skills and imaginative power. This way, they learn a lot without getting any performance pressure and academic anxiety.
Here, I am sharing some easy tips to plan and execute creative activities for your kids.
- Do proper research and explore various options through web surfing or books.
- Always keep your child’s interest in mind, before finalising any project.
- Discuss the different aspects of the selected project or craft with your kids, before executing.
- Give ample amount of time and opportunity to your kids for sharing their opinions. Be experimental and encourage your children to ask questions and share innovative ways and creative ideas from their side, to make the whole process more enjoyable.
- Collect supplies beforehand for smoothly conducting the project.
- Start with simple activities and later on, you can go through more complex projects. You can keep a monthly or weekly theme too, to make it more organised.
- Encourage your child to document the project for future reference.
- Last but not least, enjoy the process and have fun, do not focus only on the finished project.
Let Them Get Bored and Allow Ample Free Play Time
It might sound a little contradictory to the previous point but believe me, it is also equally important. I know that as parents we are ambitious and have big dreams for our kids, for their brighter future. We over-plan hectic schedules, which leads to most kids becoming exhausted and irritated without getting a chance to spend enough time with themselves. This puts pressure on their mental health and overall development.
So, as a parent it is our responsibility to maintain a balance in their schedules. Always ensure they get plenty of free play time and spend it the way they want.
A recent scientific study shows that “constructive boredom in children is essential to their mental and emotional development”. It encourages kids to explore new options and helps in developing their innate ability to be creative.
Be a Creative Role Model
Last but not least try to be a role model to your kids. Keep yourself engaged in any form of creative expression (like writing, crafting, DIYing or Recyling), and discuss them with your kids. Kids usually pick up on your energy and enjoy being a part of the creative process.
So, these are some tips that help in raising creative kids. What are your thoughts about it? Please share in the comment box below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR OF THIS GUEST POST
This is a guest post written by my friend Dr. Surbhi Prapanna – a homeopathic therapist by profession and a writer (blogger and author) by passion. Dr. Surbhi is a mommy of two cute girls, and also has more than 5 years of experience in professional writing. She believes in the concept of real food and green living, and loves to share her parenting journey and areas of expertise on her blog Surbhiprapanna.com.
She moved from India to USA 5 years ago, and is enjoying each moment of life with her husband and kids.
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