Sunday, May 10, 2015

Families and Creative Behavior (Happy Mother's Day!)

A shout out to my mom, who let me make make a mess, and who let me mess up a lot.

A five-year-old Kindergarten me.
You are your child's most important teacher.  I am a firm believer that if creative areas of school (offered to students by teachers) are going to have any effect on the child, they must be supported at home by families.  The article cited here states that “Families of creative children allow their children to make their own mistakes, with the apparent understanding that through flexibility and freedom the child can learn to correct and overcome mistakes.”

Flexible thinking is an enormous part of creativity, and creative growth is the reason that I often insist upon permanent materials and only one piece of paper for a project, asking students to build creativity through flexible thinking about their mistakes. But students see me for only forty minutes per week, and they see you much more.

Creativity is difficult to measure or prove. It is a tough skill to teach. Steve Jobs said  that "creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things."

Which is where moms (and other parenting figures too!) come in.
Go ahead and let your child lose track of time in a daydream.
Foster inquiry and let your child try new experiences.
Allow them to take risks, fail, and work out their own solutions.

Keep on growing confident and creative kids!  Happy Mother's Day!

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