Encourage Your Child’s Creativity- It Shapes the Way He Views the World

One of my favorite quotes about encouraging curiosity in our children is by Dr. Bruce Perry in his online article “Curiosity: The Fuel of Development” on Scholastic.com: “Curiosity dimmed is a future denied.”  That sentiment holds so much truth.  Curiosity has led to innumerable world changing inventions and innovations, and stifling it not only does a disservice to the individual, but also potentially the world.

Dr. Perry is an internationally acclaimed authority on brain development and children.  In his online article, he discusses how important curiosity is in the development of a child.   As a child grows, he is more and more curious.  If he is encouraged to ask questions, explore, discover new things, and share his discoveries, he will grow in confidence and knowledge. 

Dr. Perry also discusses how we parents can hamper curiosity.  Three common ways are through fear, disapproval, and absence.  If a child is afraid, he will not be curious.  He will not want to take a chance and ask a question.  He will seek comfort with the status quo and conforming. 

If a child hears disapproval from his parents, he will not be curious.  What forms of disapproval are parents using?  Examples begin with the word “don’t”.  Don’t touch that; don’t get dirty; don’t ask questions! When your child knows that you are disgusted or upset when he does a particular thing, he will not want to do it or anything similar to it.  A child seeks approval from his parents and if his parents do not approve of him being inquisitive, he will not be.  Plain and simple!

A curious mind also needs a parent who is supporting and motivating.  A smile, kind words, a look of encouragement – all of these and much more encourage a child to continue asking and seeking. If a parent is absent, the nurturing that a child needs is not there.  

Encourage your children to seek, explore and discover.  Who knows – you may have a budding Einstein in your family!

To read more of the article, CLICK HERE.

What are Some Interesting and Fun-filled Summer Activities for Children?

    It’s summer.  Are you wondering about what to do with your children?  You have a lot of work at the office, but your children need summer activities to fill their time.  I came across this online article by Jen Hatmaker discussing 10 summer activities to do with your children.  She’s a wonderful writer and has come up with many fun and creative ideas.  

    Some examples are:

  1. Let your kids make videos or movies with a smart phone.  There are many free apps out there to help.
  2. Do “Mystery Thursdays” (or any other day of the week that fits best with your schedule).  The kids know that the family is going somewhere that is fun but it’s a complete surprise.
  3. Go through your children’s closets and toy bins and donate what they do not use anymore or have outgrown.   Try connecting with a needy family.
  4. Cook some very special meals with them.  Take out those cookbooks and search together to find the best recipes.  Have fun buying the ingredients, following the recipes, and then cooking.  Ms. Hatmaker mentions that she and her daughter cooked some meatball subs that were so delicious that they couldn’t stop talking and bragging about them. 
  5. Have a family boot camp and exercise together. 

To read her article and more of her ideas, CLICK HERE.

Creative Ways to Help Your Children Become More Thankful and Encourage Reading at the Same Time

Image from www.courageforkids.com

Image from www.courageforkids.com

    I write often about the importance of literacy.  Since this month is November - the month of Thanksgiving Day - I want to merge the concepts of being thankful with reading.  How can we help our children become more thankful and encourage reading at the same time?

    As a Christian, I always turn first to the Bible for guidance.  With so many research tools available online as well as electronic Bibles, it is relatively easy to search for verses with the words “thanks” and “thankful” in the Bible.  There are many.  Encourage your children to read some of these verses and write them down.  One of my favorite verses is Psalm 188:1 - “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” 

    Another idea is to have your children write on sticky notes once a day what they are thankful for and create an area in your home where they can put up these sticky notes as reminders.   Examples are “I’m thankful for my dog” and “I’m thankful for a sunny day to play outside” and “I’m thankful for food to eat today”.  Encourage your children to read them every day.  

    Also, help your children write “thank you” notes for gifts or for any occasion when such a note can be used.  I recently received in the mail a “thank you” card from one of my teenage nieces thanking me for a birthday gift I sent to her.  It was very special to me because it showed me that she took the time to think about thanking me and about what to write to me and then she took the time to actually write it out to me.  That one little handwritten note showed me that she cared for me and wanted to let me know how much she cared.  

    The list of ideas is endless.  Begin incorporating some in your day to day activities. 

Author Soraya Diase Coffelt

When was the Last Time that You Read a Fairy Tale to Your Child?

From Disney's The Princess & the Frog movie.

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.
— Albert Einstein

    Oh those wonderful fairy tales!  I read so many as I was growing up.   The Princess and the Frog - Cinderella – Rumpelstiltskin – Little Red Riding Hood - and many, many more.  Those stories were so enjoyable and filled with immense creativity that stirred my imagination.  Are there really talking frogs? Why would a princess kiss a frog?  Can a frog actually turn into a handsome prince?  Would the prince ever be able to turn back into a frog again?
    
    Why read fairy tales to and with your children?  The genius Albert Einstein knew why, and that is the foundation for his quote which inspired my blog post.  He understood what I as a child experienced while reading them – a creative imagination being massaged and developed.  Fairy tales cause a child’s mind to think outside of the box, beyond every day natural occurrences.  They stir a young brain to work and think differently and to ask questions.  If a princess will kiss a frog, what else is possible? With our imagination, we can imagine anything.   I truly believe that Einstein read so many fairy tales that they eventually impacted his intelligence, ultimately causing him to come up with the theory of relativity.  

Author Soraya Diase Coffelt