4 Simple Ways to Raise a Creative Child

>> Monday, August 8, 2011

I've decided to change the blog name (and therefore url) to Mesra Idea because I feel that it allows me to write and post on wider range of topics. I guess I'm still exploring my interests, which is one of the reasons that I started this blog.

Ok, now on to the post. I find this article written by Jamilah Samian, author of 3 parenting books, beneficial. I've known this before, but it's assuring to read that creativity has many forms, and it's not just referring to artistic pursuits such as painting, drawing, acting or dancing. Problem solving requires creativity, too. Below is an excerpt from the article. For full article, click here.

What is creativity anyway? Quite simply, creativity is bringing something new into being. While the debate rages on among psychologists whether creativity is something you are born with or is influenced by the environment, I believe there is much that we parents can do to nurture our children’s creativity. To this end, I would like to suggest that you:


Creativity thrives on curiosity. The more you encourage your child’s curiosity, the more creative he gets. Consider George de Mestral, the inventor of Velcro. In the early 1900s, he was a young boy who loved the outdoors and inventing. In fact, his creative streak won him his first patent for a toy plane at the tender age of 12. Each time after his outing with his dog, George was annoyed by the Burdock seeds (a prickly fauna) that stuck to his hunting pants and dog’s fur as it took him hours to remove them. George examined the seeds under the microscope and noticed that each seed had hundreds of tiny hooks that locked themselves onto the fabric of his pants or his dog’s fur. This gave him the germ of an idea and years after much experimenting, Velcro, the hook & loop fastener, was born.


Because the media has a tendency to refer to certain expressions of artistic pursuits like painting, drawing, acting and dancing as forms of creativity, a child may think that he is not creative because he has no interest in any of these areas. This notion may be further reinforced at learning centres when the children who are able to paint or draw better are referred to as “creative”, which may unwittingly suggest that the other children who are not able to paint or draw as well are not creative. Tell your child that these only represent certain forms of creativity, and creativity encompasses a much wider meaning and possibility. In fact, it is the ability to creatively solve problems and overcome difficult situations that will help your child to not only survive but thrive in the long run.


Creativity often involves the ability to think out of the ordinary. It is the courage of those who dared to think in contrasting ways that has continually made a lasting impact to human lives. Children by nature are born creative. However, to remain creative, they need constant motivation. This is because, creativity involves two processes : thinking and producing. All you have to do is to provide a safe environment for this to happen. For example, if you see your child stacking up a set of wooden blocks horizontally again and again, ask him, ”Is there a way to arrange them another way?”


Your child might need your help to provide the resources to turn his ideas into reality. For this to occur, you might have to set aside your time and money. Think of the time and money that you spend as an investment rather than cost. Even if things don’t work out as expected, assure your child that it’s okay … he would have learnt something new along the way.


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