I am delighted to share with you a guest article, written by Cristin Howard who c0-runs Smart Parent Advice with her husband Ryan. They write about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers. When reading one of their articles I was struck by how relevant some of the thoughts and insights are when dealing with grown-ups, particularly in the wider context of creativity and innovations. Thanks Cristin and Ryan for letting me share this article here!
WHAT ADULTS CAN LEARN FROM KIDS ABOUT BEING CREATIVE
Kids say the funniest things. Have you ever heard that expression? It’s true, and for more important reasons than you think.
A child is not yet tainted by the world. It’s sad, but it’s true. As we grow, we become more aware of the world around us and what it says we should do, think, or be.
A child, sometimes to a fault, doesn’t care what the world thinks yet. They are ready to dive right in and explore what’s there, learning as they go.
Because a child isn’t concerned with the way things should be, they are free to focus on what they could be, if only the world would let them.
Kids are honest, optimistic, bold, and creative. They have the ability to teach as much as they learn, and adults could benefit from learning as much as they teach.
When it comes to creativity, children are not bound by the rules of art, science, physics, or anything else. There are a lot of things adults can learn from children about being creative, so let the
1. Using music to get the juices flowing.
Music is beneficial for children in a variety of ways, but it unlocks a lot of potential in adults, too. While playing a musical instrument, like the drums or the piano can encourage healthy development in your child, it’s a fantastic way for you to experiment with how it affects your brain.
Remember when you were a child, how you danced like no one was watching? That’s because you didn’t care if anyone was.
As adults, we’ve reined it in a bit so that we don’t look silly. But is it really the worst thing if we do?
Turn the music up and get your groove on. There are two reasons why you should.
First, moving your body also stimulates your mind. If you’re stuck on a problem, worried about a fight you just had with your best friend, or frustrated with the way your day went, music will help you let it all go.
Second, you often have your best ideas when you’re not thinking about them at all. While music is distracting you from reality, your mind is working in the background to process everything that’s going on. You’ll find your next invention, remember what it was you needed at the store, or connect with your feelings more than ever when you just learn from a child how to let go.
2. How to let go of everything you know to be true.
As adults, the realm of what’s possible narrows considerably, and we’re left with a skewed world view that’s often sad and discouraging. To a child, the whole world is an exciting mystery and possibilities.
Have you ever seen a child sit down with a coloring book and a set of crayons? They don’t care that frogs are supposed to be green or that unicorns don’t exist.
Let go of what you know to be impossible in order to embrace the willingness to try. Hey, what you want to do might not actually be possible, but a child would try unfailingly before reaching that conclusion.
Children ask questions. If you’ve ever been around any child long enough, you know they never…stop…asking…questions. While it may be frustrating, we can learn from that, too.
Why isn’t that possible? Is there another way to accomplish what I want? What other solutions may work better? Children will stop at nothing to understand every aspect of a problem, and we should do the same.
3. The beauty of simplicity.
Sometimes the answer is right in front of you. Often, you can’t see it because your mind and your vision are cluttered with noise. Seeing things like a child means viewing them in a simpler, more focused way.
Children come up with brilliant, yet elegant solutions to our most complicated problems because they’re not distracted by everything else that seems to get in the way. They can see right through to the root of what’s going on.
Not all solutions are the most intricate, beautiful, or complex. We’ve calibrated our adult brains to ignore what seems too easy to be true, but being creative often means worrying less about the details.
Go back to the drawing board, as they say, and start at the beginning. Brainstorming with an easel gets your toddler involved, and you’ll solve the problem in no time.
Be bold, be honest, be real, be creative. Be child-like.