Creativity is a broad concept that covers so much more than an artist splattering paint in a studio or expressive drama and dance. Even though that is often what comes to mind when we picture creativity, it can actually be expressed in any subject and has strong ties with success both in our academic and professional lives.
Anyone that can solve problems in an innovative way can be described as creative, and the best part is it’s not just something you either naturally have or don’t have. Creativity can be practiced and encouraged in teenagers – not just by friends and family but possibly an online tutor too. Here we’ll be exploring some of the key ways you can encourage your teen to be more creative.
Allow the freedom to ask questions
Asking questions, especially open-ended ones, goes hand in hand with encouraging more curiosity. When a teen is curious, they might be more likely to experiment with ideas and take risks to find the answers to their questions. Curiosity powers creativity.
One of the best ways to help your teen to start thinking this way is to lead by example and do it yourself. This can be done by writing out questions that need answers and posting them somewhere around the house where they will be visible. There are no limits as to what these questions can be about either, they could solve an issue at home or a problem in the wider world. At the end of the week, you can then try and answer those questions with your child.
This simple task teaches your child a valuable message, that it’s ok to not know the answer to something straight away and you can take your time to work through it. When there is less of a rush and pressure on it, your child can take their time to explore all possible avenues and reach creative conclusions.
Make new opportunities from mistakes
Helping your child develop a more creative mindset involves helping them feel comfortable in making mistakes. Teens in particular can be self-conscious as they often worry about looking stupid in front of their peers. This can lead to an unhealthy way of thinking when it comes to making mistakes and pushing too hard for perfection all the time.
By creating a safe space for mistakes and normalising them at home, you can help your child learn that they don’t need to feel ashamed or embarrassed when they make a mistake. A good way to do this is by openly sharing your own mistakes with them such as a work meeting you wished you’d planned better or the dinner you burnt that led to you ordering a takeaway.
Being honest about overcoming your errors will help them understand that if they get stuck on their homework or give a wrong answer at school, they can just learn from it and carry on. This will encourage them to start seeing challenges as opportunities and instead of just giving up, they can come up with innovative ways to push through errors or problems.
Another good way teens can learn this is with online tutoring. If their confidence is low after making mistakes in a particular subject, a tutor can help them change their thought process about making mistakes and boost their confidence in learning from them.
Ensuring they have time and space
When your child is stuck on a hard piece of homework, as a parent your instinct is to jump in and help them and potentially even give them the answer. However, by giving them the answer too quickly, you could be blocking their creative thinking. Encourage them to keep trying and allow them the space and time to look at the problem on their own.
It could be just what they need to overcome the barriers and find a creative solution. By letting them know it’s fine to spend a while on the same piece of work, you’re teaching them positive lessons about not panicking and looking at things from different perspectives.
Outside of the classroom and studies, allowing your teen to have unstructured time is another way to kick start creative thinking. When they don’t have any other distractions and their minds are able to wander, they are more likely to have creative ideas and thoughts.
Let them develop a love for stories
No matter if they’re real or fictional, stories allow you to look at the world in different ways. Any opportunity your child has to open their mind to new possibilities through stories they can also tap into creative thinking. Books are great for letting your child imagine new realities, but they’re not the only form of stories that can do so. Other options include magazines, podcasts, comics, blogs, whatever form connects best with them.
Inspire them to try new things
Your teen won’t know if they’re good at something unless they try it. The more ideas, challenges, and activities they are exposed to, the more likely they are to discover something they are truly passionate about. If you are able to, take them to concerts, shows, exhibitions, and local talks, whether they’re in person or online.
Encourage them to speak to people around them who are experts in different subject areas, like their GCSE tutoring mentor. Talking to someone who is knowledgeable and passionate about subject could help your teen see the subject in a completely new light and even if they don’t fall in love with it, they will be able to have a better understanding and appreciation of it, which will improve their learning.
There are many ways you can encourage your child to be creative and our online GCSE tutors can do the same. If your teen needs extra help in a particular subject ready for their exams, My GCSE Tutor is on hand with a wide range of tutors to choose from so you can find the perfect teacher for your child. Contact us today to learn more about our sessions and tutors and have any questions answered.