We live in a funny old world. One minute, the workplace demands strict analytical
skills, and the next, all that matters is individual creativity and originality. For parents, it can be a nightmare, especially when trying to help their kids get the best start in life.
What is becoming clear, however, is that the world of the future is increasingly
demanding people who are creative. As software replacing many analytical tasks, it’s the stuff that makes us genuinely human that is becoming valuable.
Responsible parents, therefore, need to think about how to foster their child’s inherent creativity. Here are some ideas to get you started.
When you think about doing something creative, the idea of solving puzzles does not immediately jump to mind. Puzzles, however, like those from Grimms, often require a degree of ingenuity on the part of the child to solve. Mostly this is what creativity is: looking at a problem and finding a new way to solve it that isn’t immediately obvious.
It requires some out-of-the-box thinking that will engage your child’s brain cells. Like
anything else, this is a skill which needs to be practised to develop mastery.
Encourage Innovative Art
The workplace of today and the future will have high churn. That’s a given. People
will need to change jobs as employer requirements vary, and it’s likely to happen
faster than in the past. So the question is, how to prepare children for this?
One way to do it is to switch things up continually. It might seem like a good idea to
get your child to focus on a single artistic endeavour, such as playing the piano. But
that might not allow them to develop the brain plasticity they need to succeed in the
future. Perhaps a better approach would be to chop and change what they do, switching from piano to art class to writing and then back again as their mood changes.
Develop True Grit
Succeeding in any industry is difficult. But it is particularly challenging to do well in
those industries based around anything artistic. There are good reasons for this. Not
only are they populated by legions of highly talented people, but very few individuals
in these industries make it big. That means that the vast majority of people need to
get comfortable with failure.
Kids who aren’t comfortable with failure from a young age won’t develop the grit they
need to make a breakthrough. It’s a tough lesson to learn, and it requires that children bob and weave as their respective talents become clear. To succeed often means following the path of least resistance and capitalising on one’s strengths.
Although the arts are often considered to be an easy path, they are not.
Avoid Generalising About Your Child
Finally, it’s worth noting that what you say to your child about their strengths has a
real impact. Telling them that they are social, mathematical, analytical or anything
else colours what they expect to achieve in the future. As a result, try to avoid making generalisations, and allow them to follow their creative path.
*This is a collaborative post*