At age 4 1/2 we had our first attempt at a ‘big girl´s’ bike for our daughter, and today we can finally say
We talk a lot about creativity in this house and we believe that it is one of the key elements for success at any level. While it is true that the word creativity has been generally associated with artistic activities and revered as a gift that only a few can covet, the truth is that every child is a natural born creative.
Sadly, that is not enough, even when creativity is present in every human, it still needs a safe space to grow and develop. And that’s where we, the parents, play a huge role.
And, yes. We all want the best for our kids. Sometimes, however, we fail to acknowledge some creativity-killing behaviors that are very common while parenting, and in this post, we will go through the ones that we could recognize from our own experience.
Our lives can get very complicated and time seems to be always scarce, but we should make an effort to keep engaging in our favorite creative activities from time to time. You are, after all, a role model and your kid will be more likely to follow after seen you enjoy being your own creative self.
It´s almost inevitable. School testing, kid-to-kid comparison, age-separated milestone lists and many other performance indicators are popping-up around us all the time. Creativity though lives in a realm beyond any possible measurement or metric. In order for it to thrive, we must make sure that our kids have some reasonable time and space to invest themselves in unstructured play and make-believe journeys.
Kids tend to choose favorites amongst the things they see, not only through media outlets but even from their relatives, neighbors or classmates. The catch, however, is that they could easily get too attached to pre-made story plots and characters. This kind of ready-made narratives allow their young imaginations to take some time off, which is not too bad by itself, but as with many other things, too much time off will make it lazy.
This one is more common than you might think. And is not only about those ‘the grass should be green’ or ‘why is that chicken taller than the barn’ kind of things. Sometimes, we are just too quick to point out when the kid’s idea is possible or not, or if there are flaws in their logic. Again, this is something that should be done at some point, but we need to be a little more constructive in the way we present those objections and allow them to see that there are endless possibilities and they can find the one that fits best.
We all know by now that we can´t win every time at everything, that a lot of things don´t go as planned and that we all make mistakes. The way each one of us approaches those situations is different though, and with our kids watching our every move, we have to be careful to send the right message. We need to handle our own disappointments with grace and own our mistakes, but most importantly, make sure to express that we did our best, that we gained experience from the effort and will most probably do better the next time.
The basic paradigm to keep in mind is that kids who are afraid of failure are less likely to think creatively.