Is your child creative?
In reality, Kids are born creative geniuses. But unfortunately, by the time they reach the third or fourth grade, their creativity has sunk. While we focus so much on creative thinking in toddlers & preschoolers, it slowly fades away as children get exposed to a more organised & structured environment. But are there factors beyond this? Do you think you are killing your child’s creativity? Take this quiz and find out.
Are You Killing Your Child’s Creativity? Take the Quiz
1. You strongly believe in the ‘reward’ technique- prizes, sticker booklets, chocolates are always on your side to reward your child for every little accomplishment like completing homework, finishing the meal, clearing the toys etc.
2. Your 6th grader has got an interesting project for the summer holidays which requires critical thinking. You-
A. Micro-manage their project, sitting by their side giving suggestions & tips
B. Sit with them, understand their understanding of the topic, share your views and step back
C. Share your views, keep a track of progress and keep coming back asking if the child needs any help
3. You planned out a fun ‘insect-spotting’ walk in the park for your child. On the way, your little buddy sees a bulldozer and can’t take his eyes off even for a moment to continue the walk. You-
A. feel disappointed, hurt and try to divert your child’s attention in order to stick to the “plan”
B. Stop by and accompany your child looking at the bulldozer and then resume walking further
C. Bend down, get close to your child, talk about different parts of the bulldozer, the sounds and the mechanics behind the same.
4. While unboxing your child’s new bicycle or toy, you-
A. Warn your child to not interfere in the assembling process. Child fiddling with things or asking questions midway would just disrupt your concentration.
B. Ensure that you do such work when your chid is not around
C. Involve your child actively in reading instruction manuals, brainstorming on setting up the toy in different ways, talk about the role of each part while assembling etc
5. Your child’s summer break is about to begin. You-
A. Start checking out about all possible workshops and hobby classes to ensure the child is fully engaged without a single moment of boredom
B. Discuss with your child about his/her interests, passions and pick up 1or 2 relevant workshops
C. Let your child enjoy the break like you did as a child, let him wake up late, meet his friends and relatives and may be get a little bored!
6. Your child has recently learned about fire-less cooking at school and wishes to attempt helping you out at baking cupcakes. You-
A. Don’t give heed to this wish at all! Who’s going to manage all the mess that the child is going to create after all?
B. Ask him to only see what and how you are baking the cupcakes. It’s the end product that matters the most.
C. Equally enthusiastically fix a weekend afternoon for all the fun. Mess is a part of learning. What matters more to you is the pride with which your child will eat the cupcakes that he made himself.
7. Your child excitedly announces that the unattractive creature in her sketchbook is …Mama’s portrait! You-
A. Step forward and correct the child right there & then and explain the correct way of drawing a portrait
B. Appreciate the effort and gently explain the correct way to draw
C. Praise the child for attempting! It’s his imagination, his view and his creation- that makes it unique!
8. Your 5-year old daughter insists on choosing her outfits and that generally means polka dots from head to toe. You-
A. Shun her sense of dressing and tell her to coordinate patterns as per the “norm”. Stepping out in such a dress-up is a big faux pas and totally unacceptable. Who’s going to handle the embarrassment?
B. Explain the child how to mix & match patterns and ask her to change.
C. Compliment your child for taking her own decision and executing it at such young age.
Well, if your answers are mostly ‘A’s, it’s time to pause and work on the common parenting blunders that we all commit- mostly unintentionally- that could actually be harming your child’s creative genius.
Creativity flourishes when things are done for enjoyment. What matters is the pleasure, not the perfection. As parents, we should help our kids focus on the process & play rather than on the end product. This way kids get the opportunity to explore, to make mistakes and take risks and to feel the freedom to express all their wonderful ideas.
When it comes to praising or rewarding kids, scientific research has demonstrated that rewards inhibit children’s exploration and imagination. A kid will put as much effort as is needed to get the reward and he won’t push himself any further. Prizes and stickers eliminate the intrinsic pleasure of creative activities.
I get to hear a lot about “helicopter parents” nowadays. When parents hover over kids while they are working, or keep on giving tips & suggestions, they are actually causing unneeded stress!
With constant parental guidance in every matter, kids won’t learn to take risks and they won’t experience the value of making mistakes as part of the process. Remember, ingenuity requires trial and error. Mistakes are not only natural; they are a benefit to a child’s growth of discovery.
Over-scheduling is another creativity killer of our times. We often say “I need to just sit down and do nothing to recharge” and yet we don’t apply this to our kids. It is during times when we are doing “nothing” that our mind gets the best ideas. After all, Creativity is born from boredom. Children need “downtime” just as badly as adults in order to discover new ideas.
So, what is the best way to nurture their creativity? Is there a way one can strike a balance between teaching children the key moral values, importance of discipline and yet allow them to question, explore and unleash their imagination? How can play and downtime go hand-in-hand?
These are the kind of questions that I know every parent asks themselves.
At Dolphin POD, the key 21st century skills – Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Contribution which they refer to as “Consciousness Quotient” are imparted through real-life experiential learning. They believe that after school activities that are carefully designed to enable all round development of children will help a lot in achieving this balance.
Dolphin POD is a world class-learning centre that provides a fun, interactive and inspiring education unlike anything children receive anywhere else. Their carefully curated content and methodology based on neuro-scientific methods is aimed at making children smarter, healthier, happier and better equipped to operate in the constantly evolving, ambitious and cohesive society.