Back Off Your Creative Child

mm School Years April 14, 2016 by

Many parents want to raise their children to be the most creative version of themselves but believe it or not, that might mean “backing off” significantly, at least according to Adam Grant, who penned a recent  New York Times article on the subject. Grant writes that the first step that you should take to raise a creative child is to back off, and points to research that found that most children who grow up to be creative adults weren’t forced to follow strict rules and directions from their parents. So how do we intentionally “back off” while still encouraging healthy creativity?

  1. Limit Rules

    Studies have shown that kids flourish creatively without stringent rules. Imposing too many rules on children force them to become dependent on the rules and on their parents, while kids who were not given rules were allowed to think for themselves. Obviously, rules and discipline are an important aspect of raising children, but they also shouldn’t be so enforced as to hinder the child from no freethinking capacities at all.

  2. Take The Pressure Off

    Creativity can be easily sabotaged by pushing kids too hard on a single goal. Instead, kids should be encouraged to find happiness in their activities and to pursue their passion. Parents who encouraged their kids to play a sport or engage in creative ventures just for the “fun of it” found that their children excelled more than parents who encouraged their kids to focus on succeeding. Even if your child has a natural talent for something, you should still encourage them to focus on fun rather than success. Since enjoyment is crucial in motivating the child, the less pressure they face, the more they will want to perform well in the activity.

  3. Let Them Think For Themselves

    The best way to nurture creativity in children is to allow them to think for themselves. A child who is encouraged to make decisions based on their own thoughts and interests are likely to become more creative adults. Freethinking gives a child a sense of individuality that will help them discover their own interests and passions at an earlier age and help them respond to life’s challenges and opportunities in their own way.

Remember that there’s no hard and fast rule to navigating your child’s creative potential. Allow time and space to unleash their curiosity and adjust your parenting techniques when necessary.

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