this week- a question for you
If you could only choose two life skills for your kids to be really good at, which would you choose?
We’re not talking about being able to poach an egg by the way, we mean proper life skills, ones that will actually make a difference to the quality of your kids life as adults- such as confidence, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, positive attitude etc…
If we had to choose only two for our kids we’d go for:
Resilience & Grit
RESILIENCE and GRIT, because in order to ‘be resilient’, you actually need a lot of other really important skills (if you want some ideas on how to raise resilient kids please read here).
And we’d choose CREATIVITY because after two years of researching this area, it’s the one sure way we can help our kids to prosper economically in the future.
What do we mean by that?
why is creativity so important?
We live in an age of unprecedented economic structural change.
Technological advancements (robotics, A.I.), changes to the way we work (outsourcing, automation) as well as huge competition from a well-educated and connected global workforce- mean that our kids will require more than just qualifications and an interesting CV in order to stand out.
Creativity is one sure way they can do this.
Creativity by definition, means that there is some ‘value’ added, and whether your child ends up as an employee or working for themselves, if they can ‘add value’ then they will always be economically relevant (i.e. get paid).
how to foster creativity in our kids
Steve Jobs famously talked about ‘connecting dots’ and creativity is just that, the ability to connect the dots that others can’t see.
So how do we help our kids to do this?
It’s about ad man and critical thinker, James Webb Young and it makes reference to his book, A technique For Producing Ideas, in which he details his 5-step process for creativity.
Today we are going to help our kids with Stage 1… the gathering of raw material.
And we’ve also got a great idea to help your child practice connecting the dots.
the creativity challenge
You’ve heard of that phrase ‘garbage in, garbage out’, right?
Think about the type of information that our kids brains receive each week from TV programmes, adverts, computer games, YouTube, Netflix etc…
Don’t get us wrong, we are all for downtime, we are just going to try and tilt the balance a little bit.
Without quality data gathering, there will be nothing for our kids brains to work with, so we can help to at least get this bit right.
Below we list 5 ways that you can pollute your kids brain with ‘good data’.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it…
…is to choose one and do it with your kids next week.
There is also a great technique at the end from James Altucher, on how to exercise your ‘idea muscle’.
Try that each day too and see what happens.
It doesn’t matter what, a book on oil, or a biography of Humphrey Bogart, but it has to be non-fiction.
Instead of the computer, or the internet, why not try a good old-fashioned book?
Maybe go to a book shop with your kid, buy a book with them, go home, turn off all distractions and READ.
Read with the sole purpose and the unadulterated pleasure of learning something new.
2. visit an art gallery or museum
Ok, so here’s what to do.
Visit a local gallery or museum, tell your child to pick a painting or exhibit that moves them, and then help them to research it.
How did it get there? Who discovered it? Where’s it from?
Who painted it? What’s it about? What style of painter/ artist are they? How did they fit in with art at that time?
You get the picture…
As someone once said, ‘the future belongs to the curious’.
3. watch a documentary together
4. research 5 interesting facts about something
Take any random subject… anything at all, if you are at the dinner table, what about salt/ ketchup/ placemats/ the food you are eating etc…
Then after dinner, instead of vegging out in front of some mindless crap on TV, why not have a Family Fact Finding QUEST?
You all have 15 minutes to go off and research 5 interesting facts about that item.
Why not collectively vote on- and award a prize for- who comes up with the most interesting/original/funniest/boring etc…
Make learning a fun game, and do it together.
If your kids see you placing a value on learning, they will too.
5. pick a building where you live and research it
We’ve recently moved to Valencia, Spain.
It has an amazing historic old town with some absolutely gorgeous buildings.
I’ve walked past them dozens of times… and I keep telling myself that I should find out what they are and how they can to be.
Time to change that!
So, why not get each family member to pick a different building where you live, and research say 5 or 10 facts about it?
It will make your next visit to town a bit more entertaining.
6. write down 10 ideas a day for a week
It’s one thing having knowledge and information, but that in and of itself, doesn’t give you an advantage.
We were talking about connecting the dots earlier, and for a great way to do this, we like James Altucher’s exercising the idea muscle.
He thinks of 10 ideas EVERY DAY and writes them down.
It doesn’t matter what the subject is, could be anything at all. The point is to make your brain sweat and think of 10 ideas about something.
Most will be rubbish. It doesn’t matter, it’s a way of training the brain to ‘connect the dots’.
So every day, why not get your kids to come up with 10 ideas about something?
Help them to train their idea muscle!
That’s it for this week, we hope that you have a great week ahead.
Dominic and Lindsay
Also, we have no affiliation with any of the sites mentioned in the post today.
The link to A Technique for Producing Ideas is an affiliate link, so we will receive a small fee should you decide to buy it.
30 Apr 2017 - experiment