A few tips for raising creative children

by Mary Ann on February 17, 2011

Connors kits for kids pictures

A wonderful and creative kid!!

This is the sequel to the article on creative children, Encouraging creativity & creative thinking in children.

Tip 3

*Listening to your children’s ideas and valuing them as worthwhile is a great way to encourage creativity in your children. It gives them courage to keep on thinking.

Refrain from judging your kids ideas. I think about Connor, the science loving kid, who started Connors Kits for Kids, an online company which makes kid-friendly science kits for kids.

When all he was interested in was science his parents didn’t freak out. They didn’t think “Oh my gosh, he has to learn math and reading”. They came on board with his interest and he and they bought a lot of science kits. When Connor decided that most kits were not worth the money and wanted to find a way to provide great kits for kids that really worked his parents listened and helped him figure out how to do it. He was in fourth grade then.  I like Connor. He is a great and creative kid!

girl singing pictures

Children are naturally creative in their play. Let them play and amazing results happen.

Tip 4

*Children are naturally creative in their play. Let them play and amazing results happen.

I loved this example of encouraging children’s creativity from the Wall street Journal article. “When Maureen Dougherty’s three kids were small, she and her husband Brian encouraged them to make up their own lyrics and dances to nursery rhymes, says Ms. Dougherty, of Stephens City, Va. Hearing Mr. Dougherty and the kids laughing one night years ago, Ms. Dougherty opened a door to find them stumbling around with their eyes closed, singing original lyrics to “The Three Blind Mice.”

“After inventing spontaneous lyrics for years, their children, now 14, 18 and 20, enjoy public speaking and “can think of things to say right off the cuff,” Ms. Dougherty says.

child painting pictures

Don’t focus on the outcome. Children love the process.

Tip 5

*Don’t focus on the outcome too much.

Adults tend to be outcome driven but for children it is the process that counts. Creativity is in the process of doing. If it fails then they will try something else if you don’t fall apart. Give them permission to fail and in the long run they will succeed.

One final note, it is important to realize that if you are raiseing creative children they may not always behave like other children. They will feel free to talk, express their ideas; they will be bolder, more courageous. This can land them and you in trouble. You will have to be brave and face up to what you have raised. Like me, you may get a pink slip from school stating that you’re 6 year old is insubordinate. That experience really made me laugh. Imagine 6 and insubordinate.

Let me end with this wonderful story from one of my own very spontaneous and creative children, the insubordinate 6 year old.

fire dancing pictures

The insubordinate 6 year old has grown into a fire dancer!

In the mid 80’s flannel shirts were in. I sewed myself quite a few of them. My six year old daughter Jenny loved them and started wearing them to school. Of course they were way too big for her, actually like a small dress. She solved her problem by pinning them at the neck with a large safety pin. Yikes, she looked like a street urchin; and yes I had made some in just her size! I just said, “Oh well”. She had solved the problem to her liking and was happy with the result. She wore one of my shirts to school every day.

It wasn’t too many days later that I was called into the school to visit with the teacher. She wanted to know if everything was OK at our home; was our money situation OK. (This was a very small school, in a very small town!)

I got what was up right away and explained to her what Jenny was doing. The teacher was worried that the pin might pop open during play time and that Jenny might get stuck. “Well, if that happens, I suspect she will change her wardrobe”, I responded.

Jenny wore those ridiculous shirts for a few more weeks. Then she decided that they hampered her ability to play ball and other games and her wardrobe did change.

Raising creative children is an adventure worth having.

Why not read about the importance of stories in children’s lives.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny February 18, 2011 at 7:33 pm

That is so funny, Mom. You definately raised strong and creative children. That is because you are magical.


Mary Ann February 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm

: ) It has been a journey hasn’t it!! : )


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