Saturday, April 30, 2016

Is Your Child Naturally Creative? Nine Sure Signs that They Are

I believe that creative talents are due to nature (gift) and nurture (learn) at the same time. It is a blend of the two. But some children seem to be outstandingly creative from a very young age. Victoria Wilson in her book Boost Your Child’s Creativity (The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc; 2009) listed nine signs that your child may be creatively gifted or naturally creative:

1)    They’re Often Lost in Daydreams. A vivid imagination, and a love of fantasizing and being playful with thoughts is a strong sign of a creative child.

2)    They Connect Seemingly Random Objects and Ideas in Their Fantasy Play. Of course most children love imaginary play, but a key thing to look out for is if your child connects seemingly random objects or ideas into their play or stories. For example, they are an alien descending to sample the tomato soup on planet Earth, or their pretend horse loves chatting to the flowers on his mobile phone. This ability to make unusual connections is a key trait of very creative children.

3)    They Ask Lots of Unusual Questions. Most children go through a phase of asking ‘Why?’ to everything. But if your child is always asking questions and especially if he or she comes up with very strange, seemingly silly questions such as, ‘What would happen if the sun came back up at night-time?’ or ‘Why don’t apples grow from our fingers?’ it is a strong sign they are very creative. What they are also demonstrating is the ability to rearrange elements of thought to create new ideas and the inclination to question things others take for granted.

4)    They’re Often the Odd One Out; They Don’t Dress or Act the Same Way Others Do. It’s natural for children to want to be accepted by their classmates and friends, but some children will deliberately choose to be the odd one out no matter how much pressure there is to fit in. Often this is simply because they think differently to others, and thinking differently is thinking originally.

5)    They’re Resourceful and Good at Solving Problems. Creative children are, by definition, good problem solvers because they are flexible in the way they think and adapt quickly to different situations. Also, by definition, children who are creative will have lots of ideas and potential solutions to problems.

6)    They Love Playing Alone and Can Entertain Themselves for Long Periods of Time. Of course, children need some organized activities, and there’s even some evidence that a little carefully selected TV can stimulate learning and ideas. But a child who’s naturally able to come up with ideas is usually able to find plenty to occupy him or herself. In fact, it is very hard for children who are shuttled from one arranged activity to another, or put in front of the TV for long periods every day, to be creative.

7)    They’re Often So Absorbed in What They’re Doing, They Don’t Even Hear You. Being utterly absorbed in creative play or activities is to be in what famous psychologist Abraham Maslow labelled a ‘peek experience.’ This is the ability to ‘become lost in the present.’ It’s an important ability, particularly for young children who need constant supervision, because it allows them to free themselves from interaction and interruptions by others, while remaining in their presence, so they can really focus on their own thoughts, feelings and experiences. This is essential for creativity, because it allows children to form individual and original thoughts.

8)    They’re Rebellious. Of course, sometimes this is simply bad behaviour, but the instinct to think for themselves and to be individuals will drive creative children to question parents, teachers and books. It is down to you and your innate knowledge of your own child to determine whether a demand to wear a ballerina costume to bed is an act of creative expression, or a ploy to put off bedtime…

9)    They’re Often Both Extroverts and Introverts. Psychologists have found that very creative people can often be very outgoing and very shy at different times, whereas most of the population are either one or the other.

Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

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