At CDL.org, the Center for Development and Learning provides a lengthy list of tips that educators can utilize in the classroom when working with teens. Here are five of their tips that parents can apply at home.
Your children will learn from example, especially when they are teens. It is important for your kids to see you pursuing hobbies that foster your own creativity. Whether you are a painter, writer, musician or even an avid reader, making creative and imaginative pursuits a priority in your own life encourages your teen to do the same.
Take time to brainstorm and re-think the obvious answers when a problem arises. The creative process revolves around problem-solving, so make questioning assumptions a part of your everyday process. Learning how to ask questions is a valuable skill that teens will use throughout their life. Just as important is helping your teen learn timing when questioning general beliefs. After all, it's not just knowing what questions to ask, it's knowing when to ask them!
Often teens are rushed through answering questions in the classroom, on tests and while completing their homework. Allowing your teen time to create, ask questions and problem-solve provides the necessary space needed to hone creative talents. Help your teen learn to space out their daily schedule to avoid over-booking that leaves no time to think.
Encouraging teens to collaborate with other creative people will help them to learn and will push them to continue their own creative growth. Help your teen to recognize and appreciate creative qualities in others that differ from their own.
Thinking differently and presenting creative solutions comes with the risk of failure. Help your teen by letting them know that it's okay to falter -- not every idea will be a game-changer. Taking sensible risks and throwing out thoughtful and unique ideas ultimately leads to innovation and success. Encourage your teen to keep trying, even when faced with the possibility of failure.
Jackie Tucker, PLPC, a specialist in child and adolescent therapy, recommends the following activities to spark imaginative thinking in pre-teens and teenagers:
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