5 Ways Grown-Ups Squelch Kids' Creativity

Control Issues, Staying Creative

Squelcher #4: Make "No, Do It This Way" a Mantra

It's a creatively deadly phrase, says Dr. Meri Cummings, a science resource teacher in a NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future. As an instructor who structures classes so that teachers are a guide on the side and the students, themselves, are setting the procedures, Cummings is adamant about imparting that there's no "right" way to do most things. Implying that there is just keeps kids from taking creative risks -- a major sap for inventive thinking.

Matthew Broderick agrees, and emphasizes that for decades, kids have done just fine making decisions without formal processes. He uses his stickball-playing days as a kid as proof: "There were no coaches, no umpires. We had to decide how six kids would play nine positions." And they did -- their own way.

Squelcher #5: Abandon Creativity Yourself

Truly, the easiest way to convince a kid that creativity is a hoax and just a school buzzword is for parents to abandon it, themselves. "If you immerse yourself in creative pursuits, your kids will see it and you will provide a great model," the MomsTown founders write.

Sounds simple, but how do you tap back into your inner kindergartener? Unplug. Turn on your favorite music, and plop down with your kids. Follow their lead, and get messy or rowdy or silly -- better yet, be all of those things. Creativity, after all, is what guided us through our most formative years, and it's just not something that adults need to abandon.

Lexi Walters is the editor of AmericanBaby.com and HealthyKids.com. She is driven by rowdiness.

Originally published on AmericanBaby.com, April 2006.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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