Often we’re so busy with trying to teach our children the practical side of things we forget how wonderfully creative they are. Between teaching them to read, tie their shoes and brush their teeth, sometimes one of the most important lessons is lost – learning to think outside the box – to think creatively.
In addition to work as a parenting coach, Helene Goldnadel often coach people on their careers and one of the biggest requests she hear from employers is that they want someone who can problem solve in really creative ways. It’s not only artists who are creative, but also the best inventors, scientists; physicians…essentially the best people in any field are able to think creatively.
How can we nurture this in our children?
We tend to tell our children what to do and how to do it. When they do it differently, we tell them they’re doing it wrong and correct them. Instead, consider the following tips by Helene Goldnadel – to help your little one keep his creativity growing.
- Watch how your child is approaching a challenge and let them work it out on their own. When they get frustrated, encourage them. Let them learn what works for them instead of learning to do it your way.
- Whenever it’s appropriate, ask them for help. Then brainstorm together and build on their ideas. For example, you might ask your child for help putting books away. Watch how she does it. Does she put them in according to what’s next in the pile or organize by color or size? Notice that and tell her “It’s interesting how you did that. Thank you!”
- Ask kids help craft solutions – age appropriate of course. You might say “What do you think we should do for dinner?” and then ask them “That is a great idea! How did you come up with that?” They likely won’t know, but it will get them thinking about the process.
When kids learn to think creatively, they tend to develop a love for naturally learning things. They become more self-reliant and confident.
Creativity is more than painting and drawing – although that can be a good start. Creativity is incredibly valuable because it helps children grow up to be inventive problem solvers.