5 Ways in Which You Stifle Your Child’s Creativity
We often perceive creativity as the ability to make unique things. Yet, it can be a lot more than that.
Creativity is the ability to think in an original way. To make connections between seemingly unrelated concepts. It doesn’t only help us create things, but also come up with innovative ideas and unique ways of solving problems.
Creativity can improve our results at work, as well as help us live more fulfilled and interesting lives. Schools and parents see it as important. They emphasize the necessity to develop it.
Yet, developing creativity in children requires patience, tolerance, and open-mindedness. Many parents and teachers are too busy and otherwise unavailable to give children enough of the space and support they need to be creative.
As a result, for many of us, creativity diminishes with age. Not because we’re unable to be creative, but rather because creativity is crushed in us.
You may want to make some changes to make sure that does not happen to your children. Here some of the most common ways in which parents stifle their children’s creativity.
5 Ways to Stifle Your Child’s Creativity
1. Not Letting Your Children Get Bored
We live in a time when there are many toys and new tech gadgets. Meanwhile, parents are becoming busier and busier at work.
If they feel guilty, they try to compensate for their business and unavailability with gifts.
Product developers and marketers know this. They do their best to make sure the loop of consumerism never ends.
Stores are filled will all sorts of colorful, shiny and otherwise attractive items. But, that does not mean children need them all.
It’s not only OK to let your children get bored; it’s absolutely vital.
When children are bored, they are pressured with the need to find ways of fighting boredom. That, in turn, is excellent ground for imagination and creativity to develop.
2. Discouraging Children from Asking Questions
Children ask questions. A lot of questions. And often the same questions more than once.
Questions are our children’s way of learning about how the world works. We, parents, are their first and closest connection to the outside world.
However, as adults, we want efficiency and may lack patience. Having to answer many questions that we see as beneath us, or do not make any sense, may make us feel like we’re wasting our time.
We might lose patience.
If you do it frequently enough, your children will eventually stop asking questions. Not because they don’t have anymore, but because they start seeing them as obsolete.
When, in fact, they absolutely need to ask questions to be able to keep their ability to think outside the box and be creative.
3. Not Maximizing Screen Time
Screen time and how much of it children should have is a constant battle for most parents. We often hear that too much screen time is bad and we should limit it.
But, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
According to a variety of studies, not giving children access to the digital world can actually be harmful.
Instead, it’s not the amount of screen time but its quality that matters. So, rather than limiting screen time, make sure your children spend it creatively.
There’s a difference between allowing your child to watch YouTube videos and spend time on Snapchat and having them, for instance, create an animation or research for a school project.
In addition to that, parents’ involvement in children’s screen time is important as well. So, engage in exploring the digital world together with your children.
4. Discouraging Creative Ideas
Children constantly come up with ideas. Many of them do not make sense to an adult brain. Therefore, many parents or educators discourage them.
However, to stop this process is a recipe for crushing creativity. Children learn that thinking outside the box is wrong and gradually stop doing that.
Even if your children’s ideas seem completely ludicrous to you and there is no way that they could work, let them figure that out by themselves. Otherwise, you’ll discourage your children and teach them to fear failure.
5. Not Giving Children the Chance to Choose
If you’ve ever given your child the opportunity to choose their outfit, chances are that the result wasn’t very stylish. Likely it didn’t even match the season.
So, instead, you prefer to choose their outfits for them.
And it doesn’t end there. You likely also choose everything else for them and make important life decisions for them, too.
That teaches children that their voice and opinion do not matter and others know things better than them.
When it comes to creativity, children will eventually think that they are automatically wrong if their choices and opinions do not match with those of others. That means that they’ll see what is actually creativity as wrong as well.
That doesn’t need to be your children’s future. There’s always time to change things around and create more opportunities for your children to develop their creativity.
Are you doing any of the actions in this list? How do you plan to change your and your children’s daily life to allow more space for creativity?