We need creative kids in the world because kids who aren’t creative grow up to become adults who conform all the time, and conformity’s dangerous . One of my favorite studies listed a Nobel Prize- winning scientist. The question is what did they do differently from their peers, and one of the best predictors is whether they have artistic hobbies. Nobel Prize winners in science are twice as likely to play musical instruments. They’re seven times as likely to draw or paint as their peers.
They’re 12 times as likely to write fiction or poetry. And get this, 22 times as likely to perform as dancers, actors or yes, magicians. Einstein is an example of this. His mother wanted him to learn to play the violin and forced him to take lessons, which he hated. He didn’t like anything that authority figures forced upon him. It was only a few years later that he discovered Mozart’s Sonatas and fell in love with them. And he chose to play the violin on his own accord. Later, he said that his Theory of Relativity was a musical thought and had he not actually gotten personally interested in the violin, he never would’ve transformed physics. Here are three ideas for raising highly creative, original children.
1 – Values over rules
You want to focus on values over rules. When our kids are misbehaving, I hear myself shout new rule! Then immediately, whatever that behavior is is outlawed, and kids, if they follow the rule, then they end up just basically trying to please adults which is not good for teaching them to think for themselves. If they don’t follow the rule, then they rebel. You want them becoming creative because they’re interested in looking at a problem from a new perspective. Not because you know they’re rebelling against authority.
2 – Character over behavior
You can help to get kids to think about themselves as creative by actually praising their character, not just their behavior. Instead of saying, oh don’t follow the crowd, or you don’t want to be a sheep. You could actually say you are a non-conformist. Right. You are somebody who thinks differently. They’re much more likely to internalize it as part of their identities and then want to be creative again.
3 – lessons from books
One of the best predictors of how creative a generation becomes is the childrens’ books that are popular when they’re gorowing up. Books where kids are actually doing things that are creative and haven’t been tried before. I think it’s a great idea to read these kinds of books to kids. But we can go a step further as parents, and ask them for different kinds of situations that they would confront. Well gee what do you think Hermione would do in a situation like this? They’re much more likely then to learn to perspective-take and to imagine what would I do not only through my own instincts, but through lots of other people’s eyes. That’s a great way to get them to think more creatively.