Written by Mereat Askander
Parents, we think back to our days as high school students or even college students and remember the stress that accompanied those important times in our lives. A lot of this stress stemmed from decision-making and the pressure to choose the ‘right’ career path immediately.
Today, there is a large amount of flexibility in career choices. It’s not uncommon, for example, for someone to graduate with an art degree but end up working for a large financial firm for a decade. The world is unpredictable and the routes we take surprise us frequently. Therefore, as parents, it’s important to anchor our children on a solid foundation that will give them the confidence to navigate these difficult decisions that range from choosing the ‘right’ school to choosing the ‘right’ career. The key to building this anchor for our children is to allow them to explore their passions and promote their creativity in learning as early as possible.
For our teachers reading this blog, it has been widely discAs pussed that teaching with creativity will engage your students and encourage them to love learning. The goal is to equip our children with the confidence and tools needed to direct their passion to a career of choice. One way that we can do this is by allowing our children to question things even at a young age. Questioning brings about critical thinking and engagement, which will compel a child to get creative and make a conclusion they arrived at individually rather than accepting that “that’s just how it is.”
We can also encourage our children to read books they are personally interested in. This will limit their screen time and promote the use of their imagination as they read through those scenes with the fiery dragon chasing the princess through the castle. By doing this, they will paint a mental picture of what the book is conveying rather than accepting someone else’s depiction of the scene by way of a movie. This fosters independent thinking and, in many cases, key values like empathy.
The next piece of advice may come as a shock to many, but another helpful tool to promote creative thinking is to not reward it. When we reward our children for reaching creative answers and solutions, it limits their divergent thinking and reduces the use of their imagination; they want more praise in this scenario, which might prevent them from thinking in new ways. Instead of providing a reward, acknowledge the good use of creativity and remind them to always be curious and ask more questions.
When we use some of the tools presented here to drive our children’s imagination, the choices they will make in the future are more likely to be meaningful and thoughtful, which will lead them to pursue the career of their dreams and feel fulfilled with any college or major they choose. Once we support our children in this way, they will be more likely to reach their full potential.