Have you noticed how a toddler figures out how to play with her toys, or how teenager come up with fabulous reasons why she should be allowed to go on a trip? You are not alone if you wonder why your child does not apply this smartness when it comes to her studies.
Creativity is a skill that is useful to everybody irrespective of profession or age. Children are born with the gift of creativity; they only need a little push to develop their capacities and reach their full creative potential. Creativity instils curiosity among kids and encourages them to raise questions. Children who have a more creative side are able to view and solve problems more openly and with innovation.
Creativity in children does not necessarily refer to artistic ability. Your child does not have to be skilled at painting or drawing in order to be creative. Creativity ability facilitates the use of our imagination to create and solve. It enables flexible thinking and problem solving, finding opportunities, and arriving at viable solutions.
Read Also: Can we teach our children how to think?
Supporting your child’s development is always a balancing act: how much help is too much help; when to step in, when to step back; when to show, when to let them try, when to let them quit.
Here are few ways to encourage creativity in children
Show examples to spark ideas
Always provide examples to children. It gives them inspiration. A blank slate can often be daunting. When children have a sample to look at, they know what is possible and what may be expected from them. They may choose to do the complete opposite of the example presented, but they at least have a starting point. For example, trying an alternate route to avoid traffic while going to school.
When children face a problem, work with them as a collaborator to find a solution. Avoid the urge to jump in and handle the issue your way. Rather, let your child figure out how she wants to solve the problem. For example, your child’s mechanical project has stopped working. Give her time to figure out what is wrong – Are the batteries dead? Is the wiring loose? If the batteries are dead and you do not have time to buy new ones, can you reuse the batteries from your TV remote?
Share your own reflections
Children benefit from hearing your strategies for working on projects and thinking through problems. Everyone has a different viewpoint and sharing them gives newer insights. You may be surprised at how simply sharing your thoughts pushes your child towards an entirely different direction. Remember there are many ways of arriving at a solution just like 1+3=4 and so is 2+2.
Giving projects without constraints or judgement
To boost your child’s creative flair, give her projects without too many constraints. Ideally, provide a wide outer framework or a larger timeline and let their little minds take the time to explore, understand and come up with solutions. Another way to encourage them to think creatively is to give them puzzles that help them simulate a situation, think of alternates or recognize patterns without the fear of making a mistake or getting it wrong.
Appreciate the effort
Appreciate your child for making an effort towards a goal. Praise the specific action that was creative. This helps children understand what they did was right. For example, you can say, it was very clever you used duct tape to put up the posters on your wall instead of using glue since glue would spoil the paint on the walls.
Advancements in society happens because of creativity that constantly leads us to innovate and make our lives easier and better. Creativity is the ability to use imagination and think outside traditional ways so to create something new. Innovation is putting that in practice. Let us do our bit to enable gen-next to be their creative best!
“Creativity is seeing what others see and thinking what no one else ever thought.”
– Albert Einstein.