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Your kids will show you what creativity is

Popularity 12Viewed 2906 times 2015-9-24 19:07 |Personal category:Growing with my daughter|System category:Life| puzzles, creativity

When watching Nicole playing her favorite colorful cartoon zoo animals board puzzles, I suddenly got shocked by a fact: I’m already a person without too much creativity, while I tried to influence her from all aspects in our life via my way of thinking. It’s a terrible finding to me, but how fortunate I am that I realized it-- better late than never.

Yesterday it was a mid-week break for both of us, no school and no work, though it was not a nice day, windy and cloudy. As her best friend at home, I couldn’t reject her request for playing together. Recently the little girl is so fond of making puzzles which she was not interested at all one month ago. And we began with the colorful animal puzzles this time.

She started the first round as usual. She randomly picked up one piece (15 pieces in total), and compared the shape to the one on the board plate, adjusted the angle and put it into a right place. Then she selected another one with relevant animal parts to the previous picture and connected to it. Sometimes when she failed to find a relevant one, she just randomly picked up any piece she likes and repeated the comparing and place hunting. Occasionally she would ask me to give her a hand to fix some pieces on the board when she was placing another one, because they were so mobile. In my eyes, her performance was so slow and clueless. For fulfilling one board, it took her about five minutes. Therefore I couldn’t help showing her my ‘fast and right way’ as soon as possible when it was my turn.

It was a small case to me. I used to finish 1000 pieces printed puzzle of a small part of “Qing Ming Shang He Tu” (Along the River during the Qingming Festival) in two days, and enjoy quite a leisure time.  I could manage 15 pieces in several seconds. But since the aim was to show Nicole how to do it fast, I slowed down a bit. I selected out four pieces supposed to be located at the four corners, showed them to Nicole and told her to notice the rectangular corner of each one and put them on the plate. When the four corners were fixed, the following part became so easy. In one minute we finished the game. Then it was Nicole’s playing time. Although I reminded her of the corner pieces, she seemed to insist on her own way, and the first step was still a challenging step to her in my eyes. ‘’Let her be, she knows what she wants,” I sighed to myself, “Anyway she was so proud of every puzzle that she worked it out.” Thus I watched her playing and sometimes reminded her of the corners.

As she played and time passed by, I noticed that every time she worked in a different way. Sometimes she found the turtle first, sometimes she figured out the tiger family at the beginning, and sometimes she got the aquarium, etc. She displayed to me her new discoveries every time, and those were gorgeous and won my applause. And I also realized how boring my performance was, every time I just repeated the same way, from corners to the middle part, careless about what animals were in the picture. That was sad and shameful.

When I realized that I almost became a creativity killer to her job, I stopped my interference and only advised her when she had troubles. I need to reflect on my way to teach her, to try to not fix her thinking mode because I am somewhat fixed. Actually she showed me what creativity is in this lesson.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report SEARU 2015-9-24 22:05
YES, according to some science research, little child would enjoy themselves when they are alone who think in a special way that is different from us adults!---------Good parent should try to find out the kid’s potential ability and develop it without delay!
Reply Report gtn 2015-9-25 01:42
Very good reflection of teaching! Good mom! Let her be. She enjoys failure, puzzle, etc. let her find way out. We just keep her safe and grow happily.  
Reply Report KIyer 2015-9-25 10:01
good blog! This is one way to discover new things for oneself or even for general human progress. One needs to work at the frontier of the unknown methods. We adults get mostly get conditioned in the mindset of doing something quickly and 'getting the job done'. This is needed in a large part of our daily life. Children can afford and should be accorded the time to try and explore and discover things for themselves that we might already know as adults.
It is this ability to think and explore happily at the edge of the unknown that leads to new ways and discoveries. I have run a program in local high schools with this very idea at its core - to get students think as if they were pioneers in seeking knowledge. As one might expect it is the younger grades - the 2nd and 3rd grade students who do better than the 6th or 7th grade students.  One of the single most factor is that very young children have no ego on this issue of learning. They are not afraid to make mistakes or to fail. Most older kids and adults are handicapped by their ego and image consciousness. Many high school students tend to be like adults and zip through quickly using a known familiar approach to problems and show off their speed. They find it hardest to try and find 'another' way to solving the same problem. They are too conditioned and mind follows the rut. It becomes harder and harder to keep the mind open and try fresh approaches as it gets to the Master's or higher levels of education - there is too much to learn and master already existing known methods that others have discovered.
Its great you discovered the joy of letting your child explore and develop confidence. Good on you!!
Reply Report Igo 2015-9-26 09:33
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, buddy!
Reply Report voice_cd 2015-9-26 17:19
Thanks for sharing your opinion here. We have highlighted your blog.
Reply Report Judy_Zhu 2015-9-26 17:24
SEARU: YES, according to some science research, little child would enjoy themselves when they are alone who think in a special way that is different from us  ...
Long time no see! Hope you are doing well! I quite appreciate the difference she shows to me. It always makes me think about how to become a qualified parent:)
Reply Report Judy_Zhu 2015-9-26 17:24
gtn: Very good reflection of teaching! Good mom! Let her be. She enjoys failure, puzzle, etc. let her find way out. We just keep her safe and grow happily. ...
Thanks a lot for your warm words!
Reply Report Judy_Zhu 2015-9-26 17:31
KIyer: good blog! This is one way to discover new things for oneself or even for general human progress. One needs to work at the frontier of the unknown met ...
Dear KIyer, thanks a lot for your invaluable opinions shared here. You are a very experienced educator as well as a good father I think.  I really need to learn from you!
Reply Report Judy_Zhu 2015-9-26 17:31
Igo: Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, buddy!
Happy Mid-Autumn Day, Igo! Hope all is fine with you!
Reply Report Judy_Zhu 2015-9-26 17:46
voice_cd: Thanks for sharing your opinion here. We have highlighted your blog.
Thanks a lot! You are still working on Saturday?! Happy Mid-Autumn Day!
Reply Report KIyer 2015-9-26 18:21
Judy_Zhu: Dear KIyer, thanks a lot for your invaluable opinions shared here. You are a very experienced educator as well as a good father I think.  I really nee ...
Judy!  Thanks for your gracious and kind comments.  I have only dabbled in the teaching and learning process out of a passion. It has not been my full time profession. I am still learning new ways of teaching and learning.  You seem to be keen and passionate about this too. I am sure you will have a great time working with your child and discovering through her eyes.  You seem to be a very caring and thoughtful parent. Wish you well and my blessings to your child.
Reply Report Igo 2015-9-26 18:34
Judy_Zhu: Happy Mid-Autumn Day, Igo! Hope all is fine with you!
Thank you. All is well. Cheers and have a lovely day!
Reply Report Judy_Zhu 2015-9-27 19:03
KIyer: Judy!  Thanks for your gracious and kind comments.  I have only dabbled in the teaching and learning process out of a passion. It has not been my full ...
Sometimes my husband reminds me of not caring too much. So I'm always trying to adjust myself on this issue:)
Thanks a lot for your warm words!
Reply Report springcastle 2015-9-27 21:38
Kids can imitate the behaviors of adults, too. One day I gave my son a cute wallet to play with. It surprised me that i noticed that he tried to put it into his shorts through the opening of a leg, though there was no pocket in his shorts. He is imitating his dad who often goes out putting a wallet into his pocket!
Reply Report Judy_Zhu 2015-9-28 01:00
springcastle: Kids can imitate the behaviors of adults, too. One day I gave my son a cute wallet to play with. It surprised me that i noticed that he tried to put i ...
Yes, they are far more capable than what we thought!
How are you doing these days? All the best!
Reply Report Funny-boy 2015-9-30 11:23
Thanks for your sharing. I enjoy this article.
Reply Report jaseminsibo 2015-9-30 21:01
Yeah it's so true! Someone once told me if i wanted to get creative just speak to 7 year olds. Their imagination has no boundaries!
Reply Report Judy_Zhu 2015-10-3 18:07
Funny-boy: Thanks for your sharing. I enjoy this article.
It's my great pleasure that you like it. Thank you?
Reply Report Judy_Zhu 2015-10-3 18:12
jaseminsibo: Yeah it's so true! Someone once told me if i wanted to get creative just speak to 7 year olds. Their imagination has no boundaries!
Hi Jasmine, thanks for visiting! I also like to play with kids, and every time I get different visions inspired by them. Are you from Yibao? I have several friends also from the town, as well as Mapo,Bincheng. I read from one of your articles introducing us your family history.

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