Education Matters

5 Tips for fostering the creative spirit in your son

Posted by Trinity Grammar School on Jun 27, 2018 6:00:00 AM

5 tips for fostering the creative spirit in your sonCreativity is billed to be the third most valuable skill in the workforce in the next two years, according to the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs report.

Why is it important for children to be creative? With rapid advancements in technology, artificial intelligence and automation, the next generation will need to be creative and adaptable with proven problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Creativity no longer belongs in the realm of the creative arts, it is a necessary skill for all aspects of learning and will be a workforce requirement in all manner of industry.

Creativity and learning go hand-in hand. Fostering the creative spirit in your son is made simple with our five practical tips for parents:

1. Allow independence and freedom
Research suggests that an authoritarian parenting style can negatively influence children’s creativity. Providing too much structure and not giving your son the space and freedom to explore his own ideas will impact his creativity. Allowing him the freedom to explore his curiosity, make mistakes and figure out what to do on his own will increase his creativity. So next time your son asks for help solving a problem, try to get him to provide his own opinion and praise his ideas, especially those that are outside of the box.

2. Role model
As in all things, children learn from their parents. Seek out opportunities to be creative with your children. Create a shadow puppet show together, do a science activity in the backyard, or make a book or short film using an iPad. Tackling a home DIY project or solving a family problem together are also great ways to develop critical problem-solving and creative skills in older children.

3. Embrace technology
Use screen time to your advantage by encouraging apps that promote creative activity such as drawing, writing, music making, film production and painting. Some great apps that can help children to explore their creativity include:

  • Book creator – children can combine text and illustrations to create their own books.
  • Oflow – dubbed an inspiration generation app, it includes over 150 prompts to help spark creative ideas.
  • iMovie – create fun and memorable movies fast.
  • Shadow Puppet – a digital storytelling app designed for kids.
  • DrawP – a drawing app for kids that lets them share their drawings with family and friends safely.

4. Encourage unstructured activity
While extra-curricular activities are hugely beneficial for children, it’s also important to allow plenty of unstructured time. Some quiet time every day is great for encouraging creative play. It’s OK if your son has nothing to do, as boredom is known to enhance creativity. Aim to set aside at least 30 minutes of unstructured time every day.

5. Address failure
Failure plays a vital role in the creative process. Failure and how you deal with it can lead to innovation. In fact, many well-known product innovations stem from mistakes. In the classroom, children are frequently held back by their own fear of failure. It’s important that you work with your child to accept failure as a natural part of the learning process. To help children overcome their fear of failure and unleash their potential to be creative, parents can:

  • Encourage mistakes and think about how they respond to failure. Talk about failure as a learning experience rather than a negative.
  • Praise effort not success. We know that praising effort is more beneficial than praising achievement. This promotes a growth mindset and demonstrates that success comes with perseverance.
  • Talk about success using the iceberg analogy. When we see successful people, often we only see the tip of the iceberg, not what’s under the water – failure, effort, determination, rejection.

Trinity Grammar School encourages your son to realise his potential, pursue his passions and discover his purpose all within the context of a supportive Christian environment. We have guided boys to grow in mind, body and spirit for over a century and we know what boys need to truly flourish and succeed.

To learn more about the Trinity difference and to discover why we are one of Sydney's leading schools for boys, download our prospectus.

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Topics: Parenting tips, All boys education, Trinity difference, Raising boys, Creative empowerment, Pastoral care, Boys learning, Creative arts