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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Children and creativity

To be creative is to take novel approaches towards things and to think out of the box.

Children are all naturally creative because they are not understand constraints, rules or conventions.

Their ability to plan, rationalise and think logically is only developed later. Before that, they tend to latch on the approach that strikes them first, be it an unconventional approach.

We know that creativity is important. It is a fact that people who are creative are more flexible in their thinking. They can see more than one solution to a problem and are not afraid to use a less conventional approach if it works.

Knowing that there can be more than one solution to every problem, and more than one prospective to every issue, is what we need children to learn.

Moreover, children who are encouraged to be creative will have a better self-esteem. Encouraging creativity means to accept ideas from children and not to dismiss the ideas as incorrect or not workable.

When we encourage children to do things their own way, they will learn to believe in themselves and their abilities. They know what they want and that their thoughts are not insignificant.

At the end of the day, better self esteem means greater confidence and less fear of failure. This translates into more positive attitude towards life and hence better chances at success.

How to Foster Creativity in Children

Children are not self-conscious, they are naturally curious and always eager to try new things. Characteristics like these mean that childhood is a great time for fostering creativity.

Parents and teachers have to encourage and nurture the inherent creativity in children so that it will grow and not fizzle out under the stresses of school or as they start to understand rules and restriction.

* Allow children to express their thoughts and feelings freely. Do not belittle them so that they will gain confidence in their own abilities and will not feel that their good ideas should take second place to rules.

* Ask open ended questions that encourage them to think and evaluate further, such as "Why do you think so?" and "what do you think will happen if....?"

*Encourage them to ask questions. When children ask questions it shows that they are trying to work something out. The solution is not as important as them knowing that there are question they should be asking.

* Children must not assume something is too difficult before they even start working on it. It is important not to put ideas of "I can't" in their minds, but to encourage them to always try.

* Children learn by trial and error, so resist the temptation to stop them in the midst of their activities and guide them in the 'right' way. If they look like they are enjoying themselves, leave them to continue their tasks even if their methods are clumsy.

* Expose them to art, television programmes, books, music and physical activities, etc. The more exposure they have the more accepting they will be of new things and ideas. Through varied activities, adults can also spot what are each child's strengths and talents are.

Note that creativity should not be used as an excuse for children's inappropriate behavior. Neither should parents and teachers be blind to possible genuine behavioral problems, attributing misdemeanours to over-abundant creativity.

There should still be reasonable discipline and specific training where it matters. Decide on what rules are most important for your children and be more flexible with the rest.

Do check out my earlier post - Games and Activities to ignite the creative spark

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Blogger Grandy said...

Wow...some great information. I'm glad I found your site. :)

April 12, 2008 at 5:15 AM  

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