“All children are born artists The problem is how to remain artists as they grow up” PabloPicasso
Our world is changing quickly and rapidly and our children will require a different set of skills than before to meet the challenges of this new world, creativity being key to future success.
A recent world economic forum report rated creativity as key to future success in the future workplace, rising from 10th place in 2015 to 3rd place in 2020.
Business executives also share this view and consider creativity to be the most critical characteristics of leadership in the 21st Century.
I think most of us feel that creativity is an important trait in our children and while most of us tend to encourage it when our kids are young “what a beautiful picture’ “what a great idea” “wow! You build this, this so creative, brilliant” we tend to do it less later on when our kids enter the formal school system. At least I found it more difficult to foster it enough in my 10-year-old daughter in a quite rigid school system that values more analytical, right brain thinking. The kind of thinking that is easier to grade and that is valued in IQ tests.
Add to that many hours of screen time and not enough spontaneous play and adventures outside and maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise then that while IQ scores are rising steadily by 10 points with every generation, creativity is dropping steadily since the 1990s specially in children from kindergarten to 6th grade.
This is not a desired result, given the fact is that the correlation to lifetime creative accomplishments is more than three times stronger for childhood creativity then childhood IQ.
So how can we value and support creativity in our children as parents?
Ask them open questions
Allow them to take risks and fail
Encourage free play and new experiences
Support their ideas
Reading with them books that celebrate and inspire creative thinking and imagination can also be a good place to start to encourage that as a household mindset.
(I have to admit when I read books to my children, it’s messages, although intended for the kids, rub off on me too and remind me to pay attention and support the values I feel are most important)
Have creativity in mind when you look for new games or toys
Have a creativity inspiring environment (have indoor plants or a green setting, let the sun shine in, comfortable cozy room is important to spark that creative mindset, surround them with inspiration.)
Albert Einstein said imagination is more important then knowledge. I think this is especially true in this day and age that knowledge has never before been so easy to reach. In this new global world with advanced new technological abilities and environmental and social issues rising demanding our attention our kids will need to use the gift of human imagination wisely and all the richness of human capabilities with creative thinking, creative problem solving and cooperation being key ingredients in our future joint success