Kids that go on to become very creative were not doing maths or writing poetry since they were a fetus. Yes, genetics does have some part to play but, “they just learn”. Or in fact, we teach them. Every human male or female has the same brain capacity when they are born. It is what happens after, that make them Mozarts, Hawkins or Beckhams. You should try though, try really hard to give them the best chance to understand everything. Here are the 7 ways to help you foster creativity in your children.
1. Encourage Unexpected Choices
Making brown cows, green grass, and staying inside the lines is all so boring and typical. When your little one grabs purple to color in the sky, tell him what a great choice he made. Letting them know you appreciate their offbeat choices will help them feel secure in their unique choices. Embrace a Good Mess too. You might have to contend with a mess, but the creative benefits will surpass this temporary inconvenience.
2. Help Discover the finer details of this World
Make sure to point out the little things in life whether it is a beautiful cloud formation, a tiny toad in the garden, a face in wood grain on your door. Paying attention to nuance and the little things in life can make a huge difference in how we interpret the world.
3. Involve them in the ‘older people stuff’
It is a good idea to let your children be involved in what you are doing no matter what kind of mess they make or if they are doing it wrong. They will always remember this time and it shows that you value their ideas and creativity. You might be surprised that you can learn a lot of creative possibilities from kids.
4. Don’t reward children for exhibiting creativity
Incentives interfere with the creative process, reducing the quality of their responses and the flexibility of their thought. Allow children to develop mastery of creative activities that they are intrinsically motivated to do, rather than trying to motivate them with rewards and incentives. Instead of rewarding a child for practicing the piano, for example, allow her to do something she enjoys more – maybe sit at her desk and draw or take a science class. Also, try to stop caring what your kids achieve. Emphasize process rather than the product. Ask them what did they learn instead?
5. Wonder out loud when they are around
This is another dramatic(literal sense) way to cultivate an environment that supports curiosity – ask questions (kids & parents), wonder out loud and seek out information together. As if you are co-workers of a design firm and you talk to each other to brainstorm and agree on something beautiful or useful.
6. Nurture Both Convergent and Divergent Thinking Skills
Convergent thinking is when a child pulls ideas and resources from a variety of sources to solve a problem. Divergent thinking is when he takes an idea and comes up with many different solutions or scenarios that fit it. You can nurture these skills by offering open-ended questions and problems. Do not be too tensed or strict about these things though. At least do not display it. A happy, playful environment is the best one for you and your children.