As per the natural laws, all children are born curious and creative. They are filled with a sense of wonder and curiosity, which would allow them to explore and learn. That’s how they try to sit up, crawl, stand up and walk. But this love for learning gets diminished over a course of time due to various external factors. That’s why most educationists say that we human beings are not using our creative brain cells completely and they are getting degenerated faster these days. Of course, research also has shown on the other hand, that some people have the creative gene inbuilt into them at a genetic level when compared to the others. Hence, as common people, we are getting sandwiched between these two opposing views about creativity from experts. As a parent, how can we nurture our own creative child or improve our kid’s creativity? The only way, we can do that is by providing the child enough space and time to explore their surroundings. This blog discusses mainly the tips to raise the creative child and how to identify them.
As per the dictionary meaning, “Creativity” means using original ideas to put together something. Or looking at the problem with fresh eyes. That means, in order to raise a creative child we need to teach him to look at the same thing with different eyes or to think out of the box. So, we shouldn’t be expecting our child to fit into the boundaries we are drawing either as a parent or as an educator. When the kid’s thinking is getting limited by those boundaries, then they can’t be creative.
Tips to Identify a Creative Child.
There are no clear-cut definitions or exams to identify a creative child. Let’s talk about the following example, that I read somewhere. The kids were taking an exam that involves solving the word problems in arithmetic, and the question was to
“Identify the smallest number that’s divisible by 5 and 10”.
Options given are: 50, 100, 80, 150
Any typical child would circle 50 and move on to the other question. But one kid got stuck at that question itself. His logic was that the smallest number that’s divisible by 5 and 10 is 10 itself. Since 10 is not given as an option, the answers are wrong.
How can we convince him that the answers are not wrong and we need to choose among the answers given there itself? That’s where the difference between a creative child and a normal child comes into play.
Hope you understand the situation now.
So, here are some tips to identify a creative child. Also, these are not the hard-core facts. Every child is different and we need to identify similarities to the list given below to understand whether our child is creative or not? If your child is:
# Finding new ways to use the common objects found in the house for his play or create a new use of those objects.
# He seems to be always thinking a lot or day dreaming
# He seems to ask deeper questions than what his age people normally ask
# He seems to be independent and doesn’t confirm to the societal norms
# He tries to be more inituitive in arriving at solutions for different problems
# He uses different art forms like dance, music, story telling in his day to day activities
# He knows what his passions are at a very early stage in life and will never get tired of them.
# He has a keen observation power.
For Ex: When we ask the kids in the pre-school (2-4 years) to color the sky, one child has colored it blackish grey. Most of the teachers would tell him that he has colored it wrong, as the color of the sky is blue. But this kid’s argument is that when it’s about to rain the sky will be full of dark clouds. So, these are the people who observe a lot and think creatively.
How to nurture the Child’s Creativity?
As the research shows, we can nurture our child’s creativity even if he doesn’t exhibit the traits mentioned above. Here are few tips for the same.
Allow them to question us: Let them experience different situations and come up with questions. Initially, we need to show them how to think of questions as well. Start the conversations, with open-ended questions rather than preaching. Like for example, Did you observe the color of the sky today, or did you see the different shades of flowers? The answer would automatically be followed by another question. This process will allow them to start pondering over mundane things as well. The more the kids ponder, the more they come up with new questions.
Increase their curiosity: The more they ponder about various things, the more their inquistiveness to find the answers would increase. The child can become a life long learner as long as he is able to retain his curious nature
Give them free space and time: Allow them some free downtime to express their creative side. Let them sit idle for some time without any scheduled activities. This downtime would help them in exploring their creative side freely. Don’t just brush off their creations. Applaud them and point them towards more improvements.
Encourage the children to read for pleasure: Limit the gadget time and the scheduled activities, so that the child has time to explore his creative hobbies or read for timepass. Reading helps in developing their logical thinking and helps them learn new things. Not all reading is for academic success only. Reading can be for pleasure too.
Teach them the multiple ways to solve puzzles/problems: As parents, we should teach our children to look at the problem with a different set of eyes as there is no fixed set of solutions for everything in life
.Last but not least, as a parent we must be our child’s first cheer leader. The creative child needs more appreciation and praises. Having said that, let those praises be just not those empty praises. Let them be the positive praises with encouragement to do more. Please do not associate rewards with the creative expression. Once that reward based creative expression style gets into the child’s brain, then his creative expressions would be limited by the rewards only and he wouldn’t be able to think beyond the rewards.
Now that we understand the different traits of a creative child and how to nurture his creativity, there is one more complex angle to the creative child that we need to look into as parents. Have you ever heard about “Creative Gifted Child”?
Creative Gifted Child:
We normally heard about gifted children, who are exceptionally talented in one or multiple fields. They are quick learners and able to understand the most difficult concepts also very quickly when compared to the other children. But what about creatively gifted children? These kids are also intellectually gifted kids. But their giftedness is coupled with creativity too. So they wouldn’t be sustaining their interests for long. Hence you see this kind of kid keep moving from one passion to another. They are also quick learners and they also feel that certain subjects, which don’t spark their creative juices are plain boring.
Just based on the above points, one can not really decide whether the kid is a creatively or intellectually gifted child or a plain lazy child. The simple lazy child also would be day-dreaming in a similar way to that of a creatively gifted child, without mastering any area. The lazy kids will not be showing interest to learn any subject. So, as a parent, we need to understand first the passions of our children, before we call or brand them as creative kids or lazy kids. Hope this article has put forward the subtle differences between the creative child and normal child at a high level at least.