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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Parents can help their kids be more creative

Creativity is one of those human skills which can be developed with simple techniques. Parents and teachers can play an important role for development of creativity among kids. As kids stay with parents for long hours, parents can help their kids become creative.

The following are some positive ways parents can foster and nurture the growth of creativity:

* Encourage curiosity, exploration, experimentation, fantasy, questioning, testing, and the development of creative talents.

* Provide opportunities for creative expression, creative problem-solving, and constructive response to change and stress.

* Prepare children for new experiences, and help develop creative ways of coping with them.

* Find ways of changing destructive behavior into constructive, productive behavior rather than relying on punitive methods of control.

* Find creative ways of resolving conflicts between individual family members' needs and the needs of the other family members.

* Make sure that every member of the family receives individual attention and respect and is given opportunities to make significant, creative contributions to the welfare of the family as a whole.

* Use what the school provides imaginatively, and supplement the school's efforts.

* Give the family purpose, commitment, and courage.

How Adults "Kill" Creativity:

* Insisting that children do things the "right way." Teaching a child to think that there is just one right way to do things kills the urge to try new ways.

* Pressuring children to be realistic, to stop imagining. When we label a child's flights of fantasy as "silly," we bring the child down to earth with a thud, causing the inventive urge to curl up and die.

* Making comparisons with other children. This is a subtle pressure on a child to conform; yet the essence of creativity is freedom to conform or not to conform.

* Discouraging children curiosity. One of the surest indicators of creativity is curiosity; yet we often brush questions aside because we are too busy for "silly" questions. Children questions deserve respect.

Creative Behavior of Young Children

Young children are naturally curious. They wonder about people and the world. By the time they enter preschool, they already have a variety of learning skills acquired through questioning, inquiring, searching, manipulating, experimenting, and playing. They are content to watch from a distance at first; however, this does not satisfy their curiosity. Children need opportunities for a closer look; they need to touch; they need time for the creative encounter.

We place many restrictions on child's desire to explore the world. We discourage them by saying "Curiosity killed the cat." If we were honest, we would admit that curiosity makes a good cat and that cats are extremely skilled in testing the limits and determining what is safe and what is dangerous. Apparently children, as well as cats, have an irresistible tendency to explore objects, and this very tendency seems to be the basis for the curiosity and inventiveness of adults. Even in testing situations, children who do the most manipulating of objects produce the most ideas and the largest number of original ideas.

Source: Fostering Academic Creativity in Gifted Students
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