Fostering Creativity

I purchased Originals: How Non-Comformists Move the World by Adam Grant a while ago but haven't gotten to it yet. This NY Times article may explain why I'm so excited to read it.

I found it a bit difficult to read the article because I was definitely one of those "gifted" folks. Not nearly as gifted as others but I was pretty much a straight-A student and in college I studied science in part because I felt so comfortable with it (I was never terribly creative). Then again, I know I've grown. I took a winding path to where I am now and part of the reason I write this blog is express some of the creative thoughts going through my head. It's a wonderful, worthwhile outlet that allows me to share in a way I feel comfortable.

The article--and my own experience--make me think about what I want for my child. At first blush, I'm now thinking "Ack! I need to get rid of some rules!" but my kid isn't even 2 and I don't have many rules beyond no hitting/kicking and no smearing ketchup on the anything. Perhaps I can rephrase as more of a household culture thing and in positive terms so it's less of a no and more of a, "Can you do THAT while doing THIS?". What do I know, though, I'm a parenting newbie. I just want a happy kid and what I really hope is that I can foster creativity in them so they know they can explore lots of topics and subjects and means to ends and find what works for them. I don't need him to be an architect like dad or artist like his grandfather. Just happy. And if he can cratively solve accounting mysteries, great. The article puts it well:

Yes, parents encouraged their children to pursue excellence and success - but they also encouraged them to find "joy in work." Their children had freedom to sort out their own values and discover their own interests. And that set them up to flourish as creative adults.

Joy in Work. What a goal! On a related note, I bet teachers who have the most freedom to try new things with their students--those who are allowed to sort out their values and build on their interests--are the happiest, too.

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