’If you want to raise a creative child, you have to teach them to think independently,’ says Adam Grant, teacher at Wharton School of Business, PA, a father of three, and author of a book of psychology.
1. Praise the child, not his or her actions
When my daughter draws a picture, I don’t say, ’Wow, that’s a nice drawing you have!’ Instead, I say, ’Wow, you’re a real talent!’ This helps her realize that she’s talented and unique, and further improves her abilities.
It’s vital at this early age to make them sure what they do and how they do it is right. That way, when they grow up, they won’t lose their creativity, because it will have been an intrinsic part of their childhood.
2. Never make excessive rules
Several years ago, Boston College researchers conducted a study: they compared families of artistically gifted children and those of average ones, and found out that parents in the latter case have a median of six rules that are applied each day (the time to go to bed, the time to do homework, etc.), while the average number of rules in families with gifted kids was less than one.
If you limit your children with lots of rules, they will probably have trouble solving their own problems in the future. They will seek conventional methods and solutions instead of thinking of their own alternative — a non-standard one.
This doesn’t mean there should be no rules at all, however. Overindulgence and freedom of choice are different things.