My Food Bag’s Cecilia Robinson has used creative thinking to build multiple businesses, and become one of New Zealand’s most successful business women. Cecilia gives us her thoughts on raising creative thinkers.
When I encounter someone extraordinary (whether in business or just generally), I often catch myself wondering, ‘what was that person like as a child?’ I don’t think raising creative thinkers just happens by chance!
I wonder about what sort of upbringing these extraordinary people had that developed into what I term as ‘creative thinkers’.
Creative thinkers are people who possess a mixture of leadership skills, are masters of interpersonal relationships, and, I suppose what interests me the most, they have the ability to create something from nothing!
I suppose it’s my fascination with these types of people that has led to my fascination (ok, maybe obsession) with creating businesses.
But let’s delve a little deeper into the topic. What can we do to ensure our little ones grow up to be ‘creative leaders’?
Raising creative thinkers
1. Introducing a second language
Studies have shown that children who begin learning their second language at the same time they learn their first have a learning advantage over those who don’t.
A bilingual upbringing actually opens up and strengthens the area of the brain related to memory and attention. In their early years, children are at an ideal age to ‘soak up’ the languages and develop the way they are thinking. So introducing a second language early on can have major advantages.
2. Instilling confidence
I believe another big part of raising creative thinkers is instilling a sense of confidence in them.
Little people are naturally curious and I think sometimes we, as parents, jump into protection mode when perhaps we should let our children discover their own boundaries (while of course keeping a watchful eye on them).
Creative people are explorers – they don’t always know where they’re going to end up or what they will find, but they’re always looking. And because creative thinkers are confident, they back themselves to get there.
So encourage your child’s inquisitive sensibilities and let them seek new ways of reaching goals – even the simplest ones! I think children who achieve their goals (whether they realise these are ‘goals’ are not) often maintain a positive, and confident, outlook later in life.
3. Encouraging risk taking
Having contemplated a few different ways to approach this topic, I kept finding myself coming back to one common theme: embracing the danger.
Encouraging our children to confidently take risks and not be discouraged by rejection means they’ll have richer experiences to learn from.
I think by taking risks, children become more courageous and their sense of curiosity about the world around them is stimulated by the unknown. Although the unknown can be scary, creative thinkers embrace it, and we’re often amazed by the results!
Is your child a creative thinker?
So, as a parent, are you raising a creative thinker?
Are you actively taking part in your child’s development (like teaching them a new language), encouraging them to confidently achieve their own goals (like tying their own shoelaces), and helping them to embrace danger (with their health and safety in mind of course)?
Creative thinking children grow into creative thinking adults, and these are the very people changing the world around us!
For a great guide on developing creativity in your child, check out our article Benefits of creative play.