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CHILDREN creativity life lessons light bulb moments

LIFE LESSONS – Fostering creativity in children


Give
children the opportunity to express “divergent thought.” Let them
disagree with you. Encourage them to find more than one route to a solution,
and more than one solution to a problem. When they successfully solve a
problem, ask them to solve it again but to find a new way to do it (same
solution, different route). Christine
Carter, Ph.D
 

As we
drove to school last Thursday, I noticed my 7 year old fidgeting with her school
bag.

I drew close to her to take a good look at what had captured her attention
so much that she forgot our routine morning confessions. It seem like she was
trying to hide a bunch of ripped wires in her school bag.


Her
school bag is designed with coloured stones that sparkle with light when a
hidden switch is turned on. A few wires are attached to the switch which allows
these light bulbs blink this circuit is sealed and harmless to the child.

My
discovery came with displeasure –

“Why
would you rip open the source of the lights that beautifies your school bag?”
 I
began

My
daughter stared at me with almond shaped eyes that would spill tears if I probed
harder.

“Is
anything wrong with the switch?” I asked again.

Mimi
maintained a morose silence with a somewhat remorseful face

I then
proceeded to scold her for pulling apart the electrical fitting attached to the
bag and also for keeping mute at my questions.

“Why
did you touch the wires in your school bag?”

I
continued, glaring at her like my hard stare will produce the answers I sought.

She kept
mute still. (My daughter gets pulled into herself once anyone raises a voice at
her.)

“Does
this look like a toy?” I continued, pointing at the detached wires in her
school bag.

She
still would not utter a word. I then concluded with a verdict as we arrived at
her school

 “I will have you punished for this
later”

Then she
spoke up

“Mummy,
I wanted to see how it works”

As soon
as she uttered those words, she dashed out of the car looking like one escaping
from a grave situation.

“Not
even a goodbye!” I muttered to no one.

Then the
realization hit me –

Why
would I kill the inquisitiveness of my daughter by my short sightedness?
Inquisitiveness
breads creativity, isn’t that what we are being taught?

I should
have rather asked – “Can you try putting the wires back together?”

Better
still, work with her or supervise her to put it back. Uumh! I made a mental
note to have a more fruitful conversation with her later in the day.

The life lesson learnt here is to
replace scolding with open ended questions which will encourage my children to
express themselves more, build confidence and harness creativity in them.

As I meditated on this lesson, I remembered another  life lesson learnt two
weeks earlier, one  I chose to call – creating personalized learning experiences.


It was a
few days to my daughter’s first continuous assessment (CA), so we had to revise
a topic in science subject called ‘The Skeleton’. After a thorough revision (so
I thought) with my daughter, I realised she could not provide answers to the
revision questions asked, she rather attempted to repeat crammed lines from her
note book, word for word. When I was about giving up explaining the topic for
the umpteenth time, a light bulb moment hit! It occurred to me that we could
turn this topic into a practical session, that way she will always remember
this topic long after the CA.

And so I
held her hands and made her feel the skeletal frame of her body starting from
her shoulders to her toe, with that we provided answers to ‘What  a Skeleton is’ – the bony framework of the
body.

I
proceeded to guide her hands to feel the different ways the skeleton helps the
body to function. Thereafter, she confidently answered the next question –
‘What are the functions of the skeleton’…… and so we continued.

Raising
children is really an intentional walk, especially in today’s fast paced world.
I encourage every parent to harness the creativity in our children and devise fun ways to teach them. Knowledge imbibe by a child can never outlive its
usefulness.

Discover
7 ways to foster the creativity in your child 
by Christine Carter here  






Image credits – Google

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