Re-discovering your personal creativity!
Have you ever pondered, “Are the creative born or made?” Do you subscribe to the myth that creativity is “done” by “creative types?”Perhaps over the years you have said, “I am not that sort of person” or “Well, I’m really not that creative either.” These comments rank right up there with “I can’t dance” or “I can’t draw.”
When you were two years old, we guarantee you were very creative. Infants and toddlers are relentless in their quest to discover their world. They love to explore, ask questions, and are incredibly imaginative. Their continuous inquisitions in try and try again scenarios lead to an explosion of creative possibilities. By the time you went to school, you had your own “playbook.” It was the way you learned best.
You then went to school and joined a classroom of 25 other children, each with his or her own “playbook.” However, you soon realized the teacher had her own “playbook” and everyone had to conform to it. Sadly, by the age of seven, children are using only 10% of their creative ability. Even more discouraging is that by the age of 40, adults are only 3% as creative as they were at age seven.
Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary discovered this after analyzing almost 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults. Kim found creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward. ‘It’s very clear, and the decrease is very significant,’ Kim says. It is the scores of younger children in America—from kindergarten through sixth grade—for whom the decline is “most serious.” - Newsweek 2010
This loss of a belief in personal creativity is so common in adults that we think this is a natural developmental process. The question we should be asking is, “What can we do to prevent this loss?” Or better yet, “How can we safeguard and nurture the development of our children’s natural creativity?”
You can begin by re-discovering your own creativity. Take a few moments and think about your creativity. Do you enjoy taking interesting photographs? Do you doodle or sketch? Do you like to write or draw? Do you love decorating or design? You can start by noticing the creativity you come in contact with in the world around you and sharing it with your children.
Creativity is going to be an important part of all children’s/students’ futures! Daniel Pink, the author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, told his own kids to “think about what you can do . . . what work can only humans do that smart machines cannot.” That includes:
- dealing with ambiguity, nuance, and poorly defined problems
- understanding other’s emotions and point of view
- developing expertise and sense making
- identifying reliable sources
We love it that Pink listed creativity at the top of his list. The stars are aligning - creativity is rising to the top of business skill expectations and this movement is trickling down into school cultures. So today, you can begin your own personal 2017 creativity trek! Look in the mirror each morning and begin. We’d like to see your pictures on Instagram – you can find us at #creativtycrusaders!
Live creatively and prosper!
Patti & Rick Shade, co-founders
Thanks for reading. Our goal is to help as many parents and educators as we can. If you know of others interested in parenting and teaching with and for creativity please forward.
"We must not be hampered by yesterday's myths in concentrating on today's needs."
- Harold S. Geneen