Why Should Creativity Matter to Kids? What's the Big Deal?

Why Should Creativity Matter to Kids? What's the Big Deal?

Education February 18, 2015 / By Joanne Foster, EdD
Why Should Creativity Matter to Kids? What's the Big Deal?

Adults generally recognize that creativity is important - but not all kids do. Here are five reasons why creativity should matter to children and teens, and how it can empower them.

           Why Should Creativity Matter‎ to Kids? What's the Big Deal?

Parents sometimes wish their kids would be LESS creative with excuses for not doing homework or tidying their rooms, and MORE imaginative about how to tackle challenges or meet responsibilities that may seem tedious, difficult, or unpleasant. Whatever the circumstances, creativity is an important foundation for learning, productivity, and success. Here are five reasons why.

1. It’s good to be a maverick! Creativity can be a conduit for solving thorny problems. When kids use their imaginations they find innovative resolutions and alternatives. Instead of putting things off or avoiding tasks, they can forge new pathways and try new, exciting approaches. This applies to room clean up, assignments, and dreary household chores. Be creative!

2. It helps to fortify your toolbox. We live in a fast-paced, ever-changing world. Creative thinking, networking, and resource access enable us to better adapt to (and even transform) our environment. It all boils down to improving the status quo, helping people, mitigating conflicts – in short, it’s “about looking for solutions - and using kindness.” (1)  It’s also about not necessarily accepting things as they are but looking at and engaging with the world in different ways.

3. Creative thinking can be a game-changer. Creativity is a key component for survival and resilience. Think of the ideas and inventions that have contributed to society and that have enabled people to carry on and flourish. Advances in technology, medicine, engineering, sciences, and every other field of endeavor would not have been possible without someone taking initiative and persisting in pursuing a creative notion.

4. Give yourself a boost. Get happy! Creativity can make things more exciting, and inject some fun into proceedings. Have to do something boring or yucky? Create a game, dance along to music, or get together with others and come up with a new-fangled way to tackle the task. Creativity can help people feel positive and become more satisfied with what they have to do. It’s an underlying impetus for art, music, dance, philosophy, and many other forms of pleasure and enrichment.

 5. Creativity is a skill-building staple. When thinking creatively, it’s smart to listen to other people, and consider how they tackle challenges and surmount obstacles. It’s a way to acquire information and knowledge, and that provides a base from which to build new understandings. When children interact, communicate, stretch their intellects, and share ideas, it serves to contribute to their learning and personal growth. Kids can be inspired by the creative experiences of others. Be an inspiration!

Anyone can be creative. It’s an active choice that kids—and adults—can learn to make. Creativity develops over time, with the right kinds of learning opportunities, challenges, and supports. People are at their most creative when they’re doing what they love to do. So, help children harness that enjoyment by finding their own niches, and support them in following their interests. Encourage them to meet their every-day responsibilities but also to make time to reflect, dream, and create. And model creativity yourself because it really does matter.

(1) Thanks to Ariadne Brill (Positive Parenting Connection) for sharing this golden nugget about getting along with others, as suggested by her six year old son.

For more information on creativity see Beyond Intelligence: Secrets for Raising Happily Productive Kids (by Dona Matthews and Joanne Foster), and for more information on procrastination and productivity see Not Now, Maybe Later: Helping Children Overcome Procrastination (by Joanne Foster). www.beyondintelligence.net

Related Articles

About creativity for kids:

Seven Ideas for Encouraging Your Child’s Productive Creativity by Dona Matthews

Foster Your Child's Creativity: How To Encourage Creative Potential And Success by Nikki Goldman Stroh

 About creativity for adults:

Get Creative: From Drumming To Improv, Finding The Cure For That Something Missing by Toni Abramson

Twelve Things You Were Not taught in School about Creative Thinking by Michael Michalco 


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