How to Raise Creative Children

Albert Einstein said:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Albert Einstein is 100% correct. And that is the exact challenge I felt when I was trying to create our new Dads4Kids TV Community Service Announcement.

Although we have done it every year and have done it successfully since 2002, imagining new things is often hard. When you take that into account (we are now entering our 20th year), Dads4Kids is doing well, and always with great appreciation for your sacrificial support.

Yet every year, it seems to get harder. How do you encourage dads in a new, relevant and creative way each year? So this is what we came up with this year.

Check out  ‘You are The One I Love’ new TV ad here, and tell us what you think.

 

The short 30-second TV ad can be seen here.

Channel 7 have said yes nationally. Channel 44, Australian Christian Channel and Imparja TV have said yes too.

We expect several more national networks to jump on board and play the ads. Your financial support has made these ads happen — so thank you.

Having said that, we would love to hear your opinion concerning these new TV ads. After all, we want to encourage you as a dad to go for gold for your children. You, Dad, are our motivation, while your children are the beneficiaries of our inspiration.

So how can we raise creative children?

Ursula Leguin put it well when she said,

“The creative adult is the child who survived.”

Albert Einstein put it another way, but equally scintillating:

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

The Scholastic Parents website, in an article titled “Creative Development in 3-5 Year Olds” by Dr Michelle Anthony, said it well.

“The world of the pre-schooler is one of imagination and magic. For many children, their creativity will reach its peak before the age of six, after which it will begin to decline with the onset of formal schooling and the developmental drive towards conformity. However, supporting your child’s creativity in preschool sets the stage to foster its continued development in the years beyond.

By the age of three, children have officially entered Piaget’s preoperational period, the hallmark of which is the ability to use symbols and representational thought (e.g., have one thing — like a word, drawing, or item) to represent something else (e.g., like the letters “horse,” or picture of a horse, or even a stick with a sock on it, all representing an actual horse).

The three-year-old discovers that he can place blocks in an arrangement, or scribble lines on a paper in way that represents an object or action. His fine motor skills are developed enough that he can control writing utensils or manipulate objects with more precision, which develops further over the preschool years. Children this age begin to create with intention — purposefully drawing a monster or a flower. By the time they are 5, many children add details and annotate with words and narrated stories.

With these newfound representational abilities, children’s imaginations become boundless! They love pretend games and have a natural tendency to fantasise, experiment, and explore. They are fascinated with magic and struggle to distinguish between fantasy and reality. However, their creative drive ignites a desire to learn and supports intellectual development across all subjects.

Thus, it is the perfect time to support the development of divergent thinking — where children generate unique solutions and make new connections without being tied to “the” one right answer or way of doing things (convergent thinking). Supporting divergent thinking means providing activities that allow for child-appropriate inquiry, reflection, wondering, curiosity, and even supported confusion. Divergent thinking, and hence creativity and creative problem solving, are more than art — it is thinking, predicting, imagining, and creating.”

Let us be frank. Wayne Larkin from the Visual Design Group is usually the creative genius who conceptualises our ads. Then it is our creative team who exercise artistic imagination to make that concept work. My favourite Dads4Kids ad to this day is our 2014 Love Your Children campaign. It currently has 41,000 views (wish it was more). Tay Plain from the Pro Media Collective played a key role, along with Wayne and yours truly. See it below.

 

For me, my other favourite Dads4Kids TV CSA would be our 2018 venture into comedy called “Dads Come in All Shapes and Sizes”. My son Nathaniel and I produced it together, using Wayne’s script.  Our most popular TV ad from a YouTube point of view with 157,000 hits was our 2017, Hush Little Baby TV CSA.

We had been talking about our ideas for TV for 2021 and nothing was gelling. The deadline was fast approaching. What were we going to do?

Maybe we could use a modern lullaby.

NO — copyright problems put an end to that idea. Darn!!!

Time for some “childlike divergent thinking”, as the above article says.

Maybe we could write our own lullaby? But I have not written a song for 15 years.

That’s when the words of Bruce Garrabrandt came into play: “Creativity doesn’t wait for that perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones.”

That’s right — I have to think like a child again. Just how do you break through the creative barrier to think like a child? This is very hard for any adult.

So late at night, straight after one of my Canberra Declaration Prayer Calls, the first words and melody came to mind, “Little Boy, Little girl, Daddy loves you so.”

The rest is history. Sony award winning producer Peter Stevenson from Turnaround Music did a brilliant arrangement. My daughter Melodie and Peter’s wife improved some of the lyrics and Chris Andrews, tough but tender voice, became the voice of Aussie Dads.

“You are the One I Love” was born.

Lovework

Show the Dads4Kids TV CSA to your children and family members. Love to hear what they think.

Secondly, remember the last words of the above article for the sake of your children:

“Supporting divergent thinking means providing activities that allow for child-appropriate inquiry, reflection, wondering, curiosity, and even supported confusion.”

Oh, to have the creativity of a 6-year-old. As for me, I am still learning how to be a child again.

Yours for Learning from Our Children,
Warwick Marsh

PS: Don’t forget about the upcoming course:

Courageous 10-Week Online Fathering Course 

Monday 6 September 2021
8PM (First night 7:30PM for Registration)

Cost: $21
Register: https://www.trybooking.com/BTLKK

Space is limited, so be quick as spots will book out fast.

Bookings close: Midnight, Friday 3 September 2021

For more information, please phone
Rob Day: 0421 732 062

Please tell your friends about this opportunity!

___

First published at Daily Dad.
Photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels.

By |2021-08-20T12:41:17+10:00August 21st, 2021|Children, Dads, Families|0 Comments

About the Author:

Warwick Marsh has been married to Alison Marsh since 1975; they have five children and nine grandchildren, and he and his wife live in Wollongong in NSW, Australia. He is a family and faith advocate, social reformer, musician, TV producer, writer and public speaker.

Warwick is a leader in the Men’s and Family Movement, and he is well-known in Australia for his advocacy for children, marriage, manhood, family, fatherhood and faith. Warwick is passionate to encourage men to be great fathers and to know the greatest Father of all. The Father in Whom “there is no shadow of turning.”

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