YO MAGAZINEYo School Magazine

Are you encouraging or discouraging creativity in your child?

By Jonathan Darker

Just about every modern parent would like to think that they are encouraging creativity in their children. They will tell you that they buy creativity stimulating toys, spend huge amounts of money on creativity classes in the form of drama classes, art classes or whatever other classes there may be. That in itself is laudable, but does it end there?

The answer, in my opinion, is simply no. There are many ways to stimulate creativity, which is extremely important these days and will be even more important when your child becomes an adult, simply because creativity is the number one catalyst for innovation. But let’s start with the basics.

When you teach your children to do a task, chore or activity, do you simply show them the method and say, “That’s how it’s done!”? Or “This IS the best way!” Or my personal favourite, “This is how we have always done it!” If any of these ring a bell, then listen up. Simply changing the wording could make a huge difference to how your child thinks and will allow them to be more free thinking and creative.

Try something like, “This is one way of doing it, but I wonder if there are better ways?” By encouraging dialogue and facilitating freedom of thought, you leave the door open for possible improvements to the method, allowing a young creative mind to think about the process rather than simply accepting your method as “the only one”. Be mindful not to word it like this: “This is one way of doing it. There has to be another way.”

This choice of words makes the current method of performing the task invalid, which is not ideal either as sometimes the old methods are the best and there is no need to improve on them. You want your child to have the freedom to decide if it is necessary to improve the method or simply identify that the current method is sufficient and requires no further changes.

I believe that this, in addition to having the patience to listen to proposals from your child, will encourage creativity in children.

Give it a go!


Mzukona Mantshontsho is the founder of Nyakaza Media Solutions. Nyakaza Media Solutions is an organisation that was established to help community organisations, business entities, and schools to research, write, document, report, analyse, edit, publish newsletters or bulletins in hard-copy, on-line and maintain websites with the relevant content as per the editorial policy of that organisation, school or entity. Nyakaza Media Solutions has a vision to promote and bring dialogue to communities, businesses and schools about issues that affect them. Nyakaza Media Solutions is on a mission to develop and encourage communities, businesses and learners to celebrate the good, applaud excellence, welcome growth, strive to be better individuals, businesses and communities, want more knowledge, discourage bad and counter-productive behaviour as well as communities, businesses and learners that want to be great SOUTH AFRICANS. Nyakaza Media Solutions is making use of Yo School Magazine as a platform that learners in all schools to make use of to write their stories.

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