Creativity is for survival not just art
It's a whole different world we live in now. From the pandemic to economy to politics things are always changing as they always have but it seems like it's been changing astronomically fast. The New World that we're entering is going to require a lot of creativity to solve problems. The world that our kids are growing up in is not the same as the world we grew up in. When I was growing up, you just had to pick a career, get your college degree and then you would get a job that would provide retirement when you're old and you live happily ever after. right? Well first of all, a lot of us found that giving up a whole lifetime just for a retirement was maybe not the best deal of all, but young people are finding that those kind of jobs just don't exist anymore. The people who do really well now and will in the future are those who are the creatives, the idealists, the creators, the ones who can think outside of the box and solve problems.
So creativity is critically important to help our children develop! It's not just about art and music anymore. Those things are critical part of developing critical thinking skills but it goes beyond art and music.
So how do we foster creativity in our children? Here are a few suggestions based on research of how the brain works and how creativity works.
We can only be creative when we feel safe-it's when we don't feel like we're gonna be judged and when we feel safe to go out on a limb and try something that very well might not work. So we need to be sure that as our children grow up that they always feel safe to make mistakes. In fact we should praise them for trying things that are hard and making mistakes because the more mistakes they make the more close they are to getting the answer. The creator of spanks said that her father used to ask her and her siblings every night what they had failed at that day! It was a glory to talk about some thing that you had failed at because he said that if you didn't fail at anything that day then you didn't really try to do much! I love that!
Secondly we need to make sure we allow them the opportunity to make a lot of mistakes! We need to let them flounder some. That's the only way to learn to solve problems! If we are always swooping in, solving problems for them and telling them how to do everything they won't be able to solve problems for themselves. Let them fail sometimes! it's a gift!
Last we need to help them be able to do things in the Goldilocks zone of not too easy and boring and not too hard to be frustrating and beyond their ability. The sweet spot is when they are working on things that are very challenging but not to the point of frustration. That's where they learn how to solve problems- how to creatively get around things and just plain how to think and create!
There are plenty of other ways but those are a start! A very important book on the subject is called Growth Mindset by Carol Dweck. Highly recommended! I highly recommend that you read it so that you can improve on having your own growth mindset because as we know children learn from what we do far more than from what we say! We need to model creativity!