I believe that creativity is an important skill to cultivate in children. Creative children tend to have better problem solving skills and adapt better to transitions. Children who can adapt and problem solve will be better to handle and resolve the many problems that life throws at them. How do you encourage creativity in your children?
Turn Off The Tech
Children who spend much of their time on the computer or watching TV learn to be passively entertained. In other words, the television program and the computer games entertain them. It requires very little effort on their part. During my teaching years, I saw that children who spent a lot of time being passively entertained, especially during their younger years, had a hard time being creative.
Encourage Divergent Thinking
When I taught school, there was an emphasis upon “getting the right answer”. Certainly, in some subjects, there is only one right answer. For example, 2 plus 2 always equals 4. There is not another answer. As a social studies teacher, I sought to encourage my students to problem solve and be creative.
At home, I often ask my children to come up with strategies to solve a problem. For example, recently I asked them to come up with strategies to keep the house cleaner. There is no one right answer here; the goal is to problem solve to find a workable solution.
Create An Encouraging Environment
Kids who are creative usually have parents who consistently encourage them. Kids who are encouraged to experiment and dream tend to be adventurous and willing to take the risks necessary to be creative. If a child is very afraid of rejection and criticism, this tends to stifle creativity.
What kinds of gifts do you give to your children? Gifts such as glitter glue, construction paper, crayons, markers and art supplies encourage creativity. Craft and art books also encourage creativity.
Expanding your children’s world is a great way to encourage creativity. One year for Christmas, my grandmother bought tickets for my children to see a show in New York City. Not only was the gift memorable, but it really helped to expand their world. Each year after that, my grandmother gave them travel gifts. What a wonderful idea!
The last thing that you can do to encourage your children to be creative is to let them know that they are loved no matter what. Let them know that it is OK to have different ideas and tastes than you may have, and that their opinions in no manner will affect your love for them. This is so important!
How do you encourage creativity in your children?