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Reasons why creativity is important to child development

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines creativity as the ability to produce or use original and unusual ideas. If you observe people who are considered highly successful, you will generally find them to be different from the ordinary. What most people perceive as “different” is in fact not “different”, rather it is “creative”. Be it in the field of arts, science or business, in today’s world there is a lot of value for a creative approach towards things. People like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk are idolised by the masses.

It is a common perception that people like these idols are “born creative”. This may be true for some individuals but creativity need not be just for the “creative-types”. Through deliberate and timely guidance, parents can gradually develop this ability in their kids.

In this article we are going to give you 3 reasons why you should consider boosting your child’s creativity:

Help them become a problem-solver:

Creativity allows us to look at problems with an open mind and thus come up with innovative solutions. Through simple creative activities, they will learn this approach and also carry it forward to other areas of their life.

For example, you can encourage your child to try drawing and painting. While learning to draw a human figure your child will learn how to break down the complex shape of a human into simple geometric shapes. This approach of breaking down complex problems into smaller solvable components is also demanded by elite educational institutes like the IITs and IIMs. They demand their students to have this kind of thinking ability because they want to build a pool of talent who can solve the toughest problems faced by the world. Thus creative activities in childhood can go a long way in helping your child increase their chances of having bright career prospects.

Boost their mental health:

Being creative comes with many ups and downs and a high risk of failure. When an artist starts to build a sculpture, there are high chances it might not turn out how it was intended to be. But the artist will nevertheless improve on their skill over a period of time.

When a child starts to create something on their own, no matter how crude it is, it will give them a sense of confidence in their ability. They will understand that achieving anything takes time and effort. Thus they will learn to appreciate the process, without being too focused on the end results. As adults, this attitude will help them deal with competitive and stressful situations like preparing for college entrance exams or job interviews.

Creative expression is also a very effective way to channelize negative emotions like anger or anxiety commonly seen in today’s youngsters.

For example, if your child is feeling cranky due to the lockdown situation, you can help them develop a creative hobby rather than letting them get hooked on the TV. If they enjoy watching Bollywood movies, you can encourage them to learn the Bollywood dance style. You need not enrol them in any formal dance classes. Today a lot of free videos are available on YouTube that can help your child learn some easy to follow dance steps. For example, you can check out this video by G M Dance Centre on YouTube. Further, you can also help your child with recording their performance to boost their confidence.

Help them find an alternative career path:

Gone are the days when people followed traditional career paths in the search of financial security. Today, more and more young people are pursuing careers that give them a sense of purpose. The conventional desk jobs more often than not fail miserably in providing this. By boosting your child’s creativity you will be making them more competent in choosing from a wide variety of alternative career options later in their lives.

In creative fields like art, music or even sports, nothing beats an early start. Try to gauge the interests of your child by having a discussion with them and observing their reaction while indulging in these activities.

For example, if you observe that your child is very happy while they watch cartoons, encourage them to sketch. If you see that they are enjoying the process, take it a step further and help them learn the art of making comics. This way you can help them explore various creative fields like media and animation while having fun doing it.

Creativity is a very essential part of education just like maths and science. Unfortunately, even in today’s times, the majority of children have very little exposure to creative subjects like fine arts, music, dance and others. In your pursuit of giving the best to your child, try not to restrict their education to the traditional approach. Give them an opportunity to explore all of their talents. It may become a gift of a lifetime for them.

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About the author

Neha Bhandari is a Brand Manager at LEAD. With a contribution in building brands across the media and BFSI industry, she has made it to the Pitch Marketing 30under30 list. She holds a postgraduate degree in Marketing from KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research. Neha strongly believes that education is the biggest investment of a child's future and she wishes to revolutionise the ecosystem with LEAD.

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