White Lotus in blossom…

Honing a child’s creativity

Posted in Art of education, Methinks by ytelotus on June 4, 2013

I must confess that I began to sense the gravity of creativity only after I had a child.  Until then, I mostly associated creativity with art-work.  Academics being the priority in our schooling years, creativity was a skill that I conveniently nudged into artists’ plate.

In the initial pre-school years of my daughter, I was overwhelmed by the seemingly excessive focus on creativity and the amount of materials you get to see around on that pretext.  There was so much on offer for the tiny brains to consume.  I had no clue what to take in and what to spare.

But with parenting you learn.  I learnt that creativity is synonymous with intuition and imagination.  And that, it is elicited out of the child; not imposed on it.  It is that which manifests  itself only in a state of freedom and poise, paced by the natural unfolding of the child’s innate abilities.  When you read a story to a child, it asks questions, suggests you alternative flows to the story, or even draws illustrations.  All of that is a manifestation of the child’s creative abilities.

That said, why should we care about nurturing creativity?  Is it something that is hyped beyond its worth?  How does it help the child?

We get such questions because we seem to have forgotten the art of learning.  We have separated the process of learning from inquisitiveness, intuition and imagination – the key ingredients of creativity.  The very tools that got man to this stage of evolution have been sidelined.  As a result, the learning process suffers.  What happens is only rote learning – a mere replication and memorization of what has been already found.  Such a knowledge does not last.  When memory fails, the learning is lost.  More importantly, rote learning does not assure contiguity.  It is passive in nature.  It is impossible to build upon something without knowing its root.  That is where the power of creativity helps one understand the root as well as makes way to build upon it.  In other words, the creative ability marks the completeness and continuance of one’s learning process.

Innumerable techniques of nurturing a child’s creativity have been suggested all over.  I do not see the need to replicate them here.  What is important to know is, honing a child’s creativity is an individualized process.  Each child is different in its propensity and pace of learning.  As a parent, it needs effort and tact on your part, to be able to read that in your child.  The knowledge of it helps you understand what exactly you need to feed your child for further enrichment.

Often, we tend to do it the other way.  We try to impose what we think is right.  We try to fill in too much and overcrowd the little brains.  We are supposed to keep the child in us alive all thro’ life.  But unknowingly, we seem to actually nip the child in a child much before.

To summarize,  creativity is a natural phenomenon that flows out of a child in free state, fueled by the child’s own drive.  It is that tool that makes learning process an active and wholesome one.   As parents, we are expected to only aid the process by creating a stimulating environment, while taking special care not to twist its natural course by intruding into the child’s space and pace.

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2 Responses

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  1. Mathangi said, on June 4, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Awesome thought

  2. ytelotus said, on June 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Thanks, Mathangi.


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