13 Tips to Foster Your Kid’s Creativity

by Julie Hansberry April 27, 2016

13 Tips to Foster Your Kid’s Creativity

Creativity is essential for daily lives such as problem-solving, communicating and creating. From scientists to business entrepreneurs, financial researchers to engineers, everyone has to be original and imaginative to become influential. Having the ability to think outside the box has a bearing on a wide array of  professions.

Children are creative by nature, yet rules and social norms could be destructive.

Below we have selected 13 tips suggested by family therapist Linda Griffith that may assist you to foster your child's creativity:

▪  "Limit the number of rules. A study in the Journal of Creative Behavior by social scientist John Dacey showed that the parents of ordinary children had an average of six household rules for things like bedtime and homework. Parents of highly creative youngsters had an average of less than one rule.

▪  Fix things yourself. A hands-on approach employs many virtues. It teaches kids how things work, demonstrates problem-solving and models diligence. Involve them whenever possible in your DIY projects.

▪  Take a hands-off approach. Whenever possible, let kids lead the way. Encourage them to design, plan and problem-solve on their own.

▪  Provide open-use toys. Blocks, cardboard boxes, paint sets and craft materials invite them to create to their heart’s content.

▪  Reduce screen time. Teach kids how to entertain themselves by limiting the temptation to turn on a screen. They may complain at first. But they’ll quickly find something else to do.

▪  Emphasize participation over achievement. It’s important for children to be exposed to a wide array of opportunities. They don’t have to excel — they simply have to try.

▪  Say yes to mess. Creativity goes hand in hand with chaos. Whether it’s a fort out of blankets in the living room or an art project with glitter and sequins on the kitchen table, embracing good clutter gives kids the freedom to build and design.

▪  Be curious together. When kids ask difficult questions — such as “Do trees feel pain?” — say “That’s really interesting. Let’s look it up!” Then search for the answer in tandem.

▪  Avoid overscheduling. Too many extracurricular activities tax the family unit and limit kids’ abilities to create. Find that just-right balance between involvement and nonstop activities.

▪  Allow for mistakes. Boys and girls who are afraid of failing are less likely to think outside the box. Don’t overreact when something goes wrong. Use mistakes as opportunities to learn.

▪  Be comfortable with boredom. Creativity occurs on its own schedule and is often highest when kids start to whine about being bored. Don’t intervene. Let them devise ways to entertain themselves.

▪  Follow kids’ interests. Horseback riding? Choir? Tap dancing? Fencing? Let their passions guide the process, even if their interests are different than yours.

▪ Keep academics in perspective. Children who are pushed to achieve in school develop a narrow, robotic mind-set. And mega-GPAs have limited impact on kids’ ultimate success as adults. View grades as one facet of a youngster’s well-being."

 

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Julie Hansberry
Julie Hansberry

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