The Tinderbox:
A Creativity Experience
Creativity Tips
    Creativity Tips    

Studies show creativity is vital to a child’s health, self-esteem, academic performance, stress-relief and overall wellbeing. Please consider the following tips to help your child build a life-long love for this most rewarding gift.

  1.  Creativity is not a pastime. It’s an essential part of who we are, finding countless expressions in our life each day. Therefore, support your child in their creative endeavours. Let them know that you value their creativity, and help them grow and explore by modeling creativity yourself.
  2. Withhold judgment. You may wish to help through critique, but creativity flourishes in a non-evaluative atmosphere. Despite personal preferences, you can show respect for each of your child’s creations, recognizing that everything they express comes from a part of themselves, and is therefore worthy of your love and attention.
  3. No surveillance. Hovering over a child, however good our intentions, has been proven to stifle their creative juices. Instead, create a safe environment where they can explore creativity on their own. You may be amazed at what your child comes up without help of any kind.
  4. Offer guidance sparingly. They will receive more than enough throughout their lives.  And constant reminders to improve themselves can undermine a child’s self-esteem, sending out the unintended message: You need to change. You aren’t good enough as you are.  Remember, we don’t always need to teach our kids to be better. Just encourage them to be themselves. 
  5. Cultivate originality. Let your child know how great it is to be different, and that they bring something unique to this world. The greatest innovators have always been those who thought differently from the rest. Here’s a brief list of famous people who owe their success to creativity, each of them renowned for thinking outside the box:

  a.  Bill Gates
b.  Albert Einstein
c.  The Wright Brothers
d.  Pablo Picasso 
e.  J.K. Rowling 
f.  Al Gore   
g. John Lennon
h. Nikola Tesla
i.  Frank Lloyd Wright
j.  Thomas Edison
k.  Mark Twain
l.  (Insert your child’s name here!)

Some of the above material summarized from Goleman, Kaufman and Ray (1992)