In order to help solve world problems and generate new ideas we will need adults who can think out-side the box and in unconventional ways. No one knows what the future holds but the world will need creative adults to meet its needs. As a parent, you have the ability to help your child learn to become a creative thinker and doer.
Not all creativity is part of the ‘Arts’ (music, movement, art, and drama) but is found in all Intelligences. According to theorist Howard Gardner, there are 9 kinds of intelligence. They include Naturalist (those who are nature smart, like Jacques Cousteau), Musical (those who are musically smart, like Ludwig van Beethoven), Logical-Mathematical (those who are reasoning and number smart, like Bill Gates), Existential (mental science smart, like Buddha), Interpersonal (people smart, like Oprah Winfrey), Intrapersonal (those who are self-aware smart, like Anne Frank), Kinesthetic (body movement smart, like Michael Jordan), and Linguistic (word and language smart, like Theodore Geisel/Dr. Seuss).
Creative people are not necessarily those that have the highest high IQ or are outstanding students. Creative people tend to look for and find challenges that they can explore and learn from by making mistakes. Creative people have been provided an environment and encouragement that seeks out creative thought. You as a parent can help your child build a foundation that is conducive to creative thinking.
Parents of Preschool children can follow their child’s lead in their interests by introducing them to books that deal with the subject at hand. Visit your local library often and borrow books that you can share with your child on subjects of his/her choosing. If your child is interested in music, find a friend or family member that can share the love with your child. If your child is interested in ocean life, visit a fish store or an aquarium. Visit museums, zoos, parks, the fire station, home improvement store, farmers market, etc. You should be able to find someplace or someone that can further your child’s interest. Use technology carefully to find quality versus consumer driven games and applications. Support your child’s interests.
Children need you to help them develop their passions and interests by supporting them. Hang or display your child’s creative works in your home. This inspires children to create more. Give your child times of solitude with no TV or Internet. Children need time for play and experiment with new materials and ideas. Allow them to have as much decision-making and control in their creative endeavors that is safe. This gives children ownership of their work and creative self. It does not matter if their work is a success or a mistake; it is the creative process that is important. As Einstein said, “If a person has not made a mistake it’s because they have not tried something new”. And encourage your child to share their thoughts and ideas with you while driving or sharing meals times. Encourage conversation by asking your child his/her thoughts and opinions.