Education has evolved from the 3R’s to a more holistic 21st Century 4C’s of Learning and Innovation Skills: Critical Thinking, Creativity, Communication, and Collaboration. Let’s look at creativity for our teens.
Our teens are amazingly creative! As a mom, I sometimes tease that if the creativity used to avoid chores were channeled into innovation, my girls would be supporting me by now! So how do we foster this natural creativity that has evolved steadily in the years since finger-painted rainbows in kindergarten?
1) Acknowledge that creativity may not look traditional by our standards;
2) Find ways to keep exposing our teens to new experiences and ideas; and
3) Help teens extend their passions to broader experiences.
Creativity can be found in an intentional style of dress or how a teen expresses herself on Facebook or Tumblr. It can be found in a new drum riff that a teen creates or how he personalizes his car or bike. Look outside our traditional definition and don’t forget your sense of humor! Creative work-arounds on family rules deserve a chuckle before we “clarify” the rules!
Finding news experiences can be as easy as buying a discount coupon for a trapeze class or looking at the Meet-Up or YMCA or rec center activity lists. How about tai chi or learning to be a barista? Let’s keep stretching horizons while we can!
The final gift of extending passions combines the first two: when we identify our teens’ creative edges and stretch them, then we can brainstorm with them how to take their talents into new realms. Helping younger kids, joining a like-minded group, etc. can keep the creativity flowing. Fostering creativity is one of the fun roles of being a parent…and you may find yourself stretched in the process. Bonus!