5 ways to foster innovation and creativity in children
Few months back I worked on a school project with my son. During that process I realized that I, as a parent has to learn a lot if I want my son to be creative and innovative. These are the lessons learned in the process.
1. Focus on the process, not results
Let your child explore multiple ways to find solution, few ways will take them away from solution, but that is ok. We, as parents, focus too much on the result. We want perfection. But path to solution is more important than solution itself to be innovative .
2.Buy toys that allows child to explore multiple ways instead of just list of instructions
I bought many Lego games for my son that come with instruction. I worked with my son to teach him how to follow the instructions to build perfect structure. It was great, but it was not fostering innovation. After few months, my son mixed up all Lego blocks, and started building structures that represented his own ideas. He enjoyed that process a lot more, and I was amazed by the creativity that he bought to reality. So buy toys or material that will let kids play in unstructured way.
3.Control urge to help children to provide autonomy and freedom to cultivate creativity
Sometimes being an impatient parent, we are too eager to help child even before they have an opportunity to fail. Once they realize that there is someone to help, they stop taking risk and trying various options. It is very important for them to be autonomous and exercise the freedom to make mistakes. So try to restraint yourself to help your child until it is absolutely necessary.
4. Glorify failure (yes it’s OK to fail)
Being in a competitive society, we focus too much on success, but success does not teach kids as much as failures do. Encourage child to make mistakes, ask them to articulate the lessons learned as part of the failure. If your child is not afraid of failure, he or she will be able to take risk of executing innovative ideas.
5. Support imagination even if it’s far from reality
Kids have amazing imagination as per my observation. It is wild, irrational and far from reality but most of the innovative ideas seems far from reality until they are been materialized. Let your child imagine the world in their own way, it will allow them to think out-of-the-box when they grow up. It will foster their innovation at very early age.
Author: Dipali Trivedi
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