The Creative Parent
By Susan Dichter
To foster creativity, you don't have to be Pablo Picasso. When you sidestep conventional wisdom and keep an open mind, taking delight in trying out new things, you emerge as a marvelous role model—a creative parent!
Your own example is important and so is an ability to:
Entertain the unusual
Left to their own devices, kids come up with many unusual ideas. Be receptive—if kids are taught to suppress unusual ideas, they'll be less likely to brainstorm and innovate later on.
When your child knows that you are really listening to him, he is encouraged to develop his ideas and to expand his thinking. Of course, before you can listen, you'll have to get beyond your child's monosyllabic "yes" and "no" answers. Don't be discouraged by them—always follow up with concrete questions and make them as open ended as possible. For instance, suppose your child saw a display of musical instruments in school. What did the saxophone look like? Which instrument sounds the way it looks?
Try and follow your child's rhythm, not your own.
Don't offer your child too many options. Encourage him to follow through on whatever activity he chooses—and don't do it for him!
LeapFrog recommends for creative parents AND kids:
And To Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street
By Dr. Seuss
Random House (All ages)
Susan Dichter wears many hats—mother, writer, former teacher, museum director and librarian; her books include Teachers: Straight Talk From The Trenches.
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