thoughts about life from below the surface


Encouraging Kids to Be Creative Part 2

What comes to mind when you hear the word creative? Maybe you imagine a beautiful painting, or maybe you think about telling the story of our Founding Fathers with ambitious rap and hip-hop driven music as they did in the hit musical “Hamilton.”

You wouldn’t be wrong, though creativity is more than artistic expression. It is finding new solutions to problems and creating a message that will stick in the minds of the listeners. It is connecting to remote groups and bringing hope to the hopeless.

Creativity is what is needed to bring lasting change to our world. In fact, we would go as far as to say that creativity is the new intelligence.

Let’s take Steve Jobs, for example. His genius was in his ability to see things differently than everyone else around him. According to Rick Tetzeli, executive editor of Fast Company and the magazine’s resident Jobs expert, “Everyone else in the industry insisted on selling computers by their specs — by how fast it was, by how powerful it was and how cheap it was — and Apple always understood that that wasn’t the way to sell.”

Steve Jobs wasn’t the technological genius behind Apple; he was the visionary. Jobs could see the future through the eyes of the average Joe. “He got power into the hands of people, and people can do amazing things with these tools,” Tetzeli said.

Creativity is imagination, and imagination is the secret ingredient of any kind of achievement. “If a thing cannot be imagined first — a cake, a relationship, a cure for AIDS — it cannot be. Life is bound by what we can envision,” said author Nancy Blakey.

Creativity and imagination are the keys to the future. They will solve our energy crisis. They will continue to make our lives and work more powerful.

The article goes on to talk about how so many things in the Jetson’s cartoon have become true. Without imagining things, we can’t create. You can read the rest of the article here.

Parents work to boost our kids’ test scores by hiring tutors or enrolling them in special classes. We also can go a little nuts to give our kids a leg up in their sports by paying for private lessons and coaching. It’s important to look at creativity, not as an innate personality trait, but as something that can be encouraged, too. Yesterday, I wrote about tips to grow our children’s creative spirit. You can read that here.

I was talking with my son about how fortunate they were to grow up without much screen time. We had an iMac but it was before everyone was on the internet and iPhones didn’t exist. We had several disks with kid friendly programs and most often the computer was used to watch DVDs. My son said he was grateful to be born prior to iPhones. He said he thinks kids today never get the same connection to their parents because there’s always a screen in between them. I was more worried about parents posting every second of their children’s lives on social media and how that affects kids today. Children may view every moment as a posed event and they get quite good at posing. But my son’s comment made me look at how my life has changed since I’ve had an iPhone. I can barely remember a time without it or when it’s not within reach.


I wish I knew what they were pretending with all their friends.

Maybe it’s time to cut down on my screen time to work on my own creative spirit.

What suggestions do you have to boost creativity in our lives?



Jenni Stahlmann and Jody Hagaman are the pioneers of the homeschooling method “Cradle to Calling Education.” They travel the U.S. and Canada speaking to parents and homeschoolers. For more information, go to, visit the Cradle2Calling Facebook page or follow them on Instagram @cradle_2_calling.

3 thoughts on “Encouraging Kids to Be Creative Part 2

  1. This is something I think about (and stress about) a lot with my three-year-old son. “How do I teach him to be more creative? Is it even possible to teach creativity?” We do limit screen time, but I’ve been trying to be an example by doing art in front of him, and giving him materials to express himself (instruments, crayons, paint, etc), but he’s just not interested. Occasionally, I go through a period of thinking, “He doesn’t need this much involvement. I should back off.” and trying to let him just do whatever with his time… But that is always followed by a period of guilt, because on the other side of so-called parenting advice, we’re always hearing, “Kids need more interactions from their parents to learn and thrive and become emotionally healthy, etc…”
    I don’t know anymore. I’m just doing the best I can, hoping he’s strong enough to overcome whatever mistakes I make.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • I’m sure you’re doing fine and keep in mind that creativity comes in many forms! He might not be interested in art projects, but will find something else he likes like legos or digging up the yard! My son was very creative but not always in a good way. When he was two or three he flushed my jar of eye cream down the toilet — which broke the toilet. Then he fed a peanut butter sandwich to the DVD player. He wanted to know what would happen next.

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