Every parent has heard it—the howl of the bored child. “Mom, I don’t have anything to DO!” or “Dad, come play with me!” Despite a closet filled with toys and the electronic gizmos of the moment, children everywhere are flopping down in abject misery at the prospect of filling up their free time.
Is it a parent’s job to provide constant stimulation and to solve every problem? Actually—no. In fact, if you constantly entertain your child and solve her problems for her, you are stealing from her the ability to be creative, to exercise her imagination, and possibly, to contribute new ideas and solutions to the world we all share.
Why is creativity important? Beyond the arts we often associate with creativity—things like music, art, drama, and literature—creativity is necessary for solving problems, especially new problems. Divergent thinking, sometimes called “thinking outside the box”, is the potential source of cures for disease and solutions to world problems such as poverty and hunger.
Be forewarned, though: Creativity can look an awful lot like misbehavior. It can be messy and inefficient—and the world would be lost without it.
How can you nurture creativity in your child? Continue reading