5 Steps to Raising a Creative Child

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Just kidding. There isn’t a five step process for raising a creative child.

It’s is not linear, not black and white, or right or wrong. (What a relief!)

In fact, your child is already creative. (So are you!)

Today, I can’t give you steps but I can give you ideas to help your child’s creativity blossom and grow into maturity . . .

Conditions for Creativity

Parents can create environments that encourage creativity. These environments include:

down time
opportunities to invent and create

Blogger, Jillian Riley, suggests in her eBook, Raising a Creative Kid, that the environment include:

open-ended toys
pretend play
creative art spaces
Creating Innovators author, Tony Wagner writes that creative innovators need:
willingness to experiment and take calculated risks
tolerance of failure
the capacity for design thinking
critical thinking
Sir Ken Robinson, in his famous TEDx talk, books, and articles, says that schools kill creativity. To encourage creative thinking, they’ll need to:
celebrate curiosity
provide ample opportunities for divergent thinking (divergent vs. convergent thinking explained here)
nix so much standardized testing

Books About Creativity

Here are some of the most respected books on creativity. Sadly, I removed Imagine by Jonah Leher from this list since he recently confessed to fabricating quotes. Boo.

Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration by Keith Sawyer

Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative by Sir Ken Robinson

Ingenius: A Crash Course on Creativity by Tina Seelig

Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod

Cracking Creativity (& Thinkertoys) by Michael Michalko

Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration by Scott Doorley and Scott Witthoft

How to Be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith

Unstuck: 52 Ways to Get (and Keep) Your Creativity Flowing at Home, at Work & In Your Studio by Noah Scalin

Articles About Creativity

Still want to read more about creativity? Here are great online links to keep you busy thinking for awhile.

Creativity 101, Imagination Soup.
How Can You Encourage Your Child’s Creativity? Imagination Soup.
Video Games Help Creativity, USA Today
Do schools kill creativity?, Parenting.com
Top 50 Creativity Posts, My Creative Team
Raising a Creative Kid by Jillian Riley (eBook)
Tips on How to Be Creative by John Cleese (video)
Using Humor to Understand Creativity, Big Think

Last Piece of Advice

Don’t worry about being creative. You already are. You don’t have to read any articles, any the books, do any exercises . . . you were born creative and still are. So are your kids. Just relax. Be. Create.

Now go have fun with your creative selves!

steps to raising a creative child

see also:
The Artist’s Way for Parents
How you can encourage your child’s creativity by Melanie Sklarz
Artist’s Dates with Your Kids

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  1. My little son (7 years old) plays a LOT of video games. Lately he’s really, really into Minecraft. I was skeptical that gaming fosters creativity but then I read your link. What do you think? Really? If so, I won’t have to feel so badly because I’m always wrestling with him to get him off screens.

    1. Every parent has different parenting style. Trust me, we always think good for our kids and there is no, one proven method or a right method to raise a successful, creative or happy kid. That been said, there are few things we need to consider in this.

      I believe as a parent, it is our energy level that matters the most. When I am low in my energy level, I won’t be able to entertain my kids and best way to avoid dealing with them is to just give them what they ask for which would be iPhones / iPads / gaming devices.

      It is difficult to replace anything for a Video game. I have been there by myself and nothing was as good as Mario game. Now, but now I am conscious when and how long I allow gaming for my kids. They get to play twice a week for 30 minutes each only if they satisfy certain task throughout the week. The task involves everyday Homework, everyday one library book of their choice, one math sheet, one art /craft work and some basic science projects or learning something new in science. Making them to do all these everyday is quite energy and time consuming, but once you bring them into routine, trust me, you will thank yourself everyday. My kids are 5 and 7 yrs old and they are hooked up with books from library(any kind of books) all the time. It took two years for me to make this happen. The elder one was hooked up to Wii games and iPad all the time when he was ors old. He is smart kid but he was not willing to listen. I sold the Wii game and promised him that I will buy Xbox in future (no timeframe was promised). I took my kids to library religiously all 6 days for 6 months. I spent 30 minutes and they get to read whatever they want. My intention was to make them like the books and for that I didn’t restrict on books they choose. They eventually hooked up on to books. I always tell them that books can be your best companion any time in life. Now they thank me whenever I make a stopover at Library and I do get to hear a lot of “You are the best mommy in the world” for taking them to Library. I won’t say video games are completely bad, but everything has limit. Only zero calorie food can be taken in any amount and rest of the food you need to set limit. Likewise, Library is equally to Zero calorie food and you don’t need to restrict that but all other stuff need limitations. Just my thought.