“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up” – Pablo Picasso
In today’s fast-paced world, it is tougher by the day to hold people’s attention unless something is interesting and creative. We seek novelty in almost everything today – ranging from the food we eat to clothes that we wear, television channels or programmes that we watch to careers that we choose.
The demand and pressure to be creative is more than ever. More often we hear the phrase, “Think out of the box”. Competition is a stress that is affecting even children right from their tender age. Thus, the need to stand out from the crowd and draw attention, which is highly rewarded, has grown multi-fold.
On the other hand, we also see several individuals succumb to this pressure which can have an irreversible effect on their self-image. So how do we prepare our children better to these kinds of situations and demands? Is creativity something that we are born with or it is a learned skill? Is it possible to train someone to think out of the box?
Children are not governed by rules and structure. In fact, most of childhood is marked by creative potentiality – especially during the early years, till about the age of ten, when it declines due to pressures of conforming to social norms. A lot of this also depends on the kind of safe & encouraging environment that is provided to express themselves freely along with several processes, skills that can foster the development of creativity. Certain personality traits or qualities also often contribute to developing creativity and innovations.
Here is a list of five simple qualities/characteristics that parents/we as adults can demonstrate and thereby encourage our children to adopt, aiding in the process of developing creativity and being innovative:
- Being Open-minded – to be open to new experiences sends across the message that it is important and possible to think beyond a certain framework. E.g. Scheduling different activities with children over weekends which involves learning – visit the planetarium, volunteering at a children’s home or old age home, campaigns related to environment etc.
- Non-judgmental – Being able to move beyond classifications such as right or wrong; viewing things in context or in relation to the environment and conditions is vital. E.g. not criticizing children for any varied answers that they provide for questions. Reasoning out rather than putting to shame. Also demonstrating being non-judgmental and biased towards people of other faith, race, gender etc. This teaches children to not judge easily/readily without understanding or considering all the factors
- Empathy – Understanding the context and environment is key in problem-solving. For this, it is important to encourage children to ‘get into the shoes of the other person/situation’ i.e., being empathetic.
- Fearlessness – Fear of being judged or fear of failure can create huge hindrance and inhibit the expression of ideas. It is therefore important to encourage children to be self-confident and express self themselves. Research has demonstrated that when children experience a feeling of “I think my parents/teacher listen to what I have to say”, their self-confidence improves. So active listening to children is also important, where we pay undivided attention to them. Additionally, children who are active in sports are able to accept failure and demonstrate better fearlessness.
- Being Curious – An enriching, fearless environment supplemented with experiences helps children in being keen and curious to explore and learn new concepts on a daily basis. It has been proved that being curious also leads to improved memory. Motivating curious children to share their experiences also improves communication, which is an integral part of being innovative.
Finally, praise and motivation from parents, teachers’ in recognition of the efforts, increase self-confidence and helps children in expressing their thoughts and unique ideas.
Therefore, we at Samsidh, advocate the implementation of the above beliefs in our day to day interaction with the children at various levels. We also recommend and request parents to supplement in this process of making our pupils, well-rounded creative citizens!
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