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How to Teach Your Child to Think Outside the Box

Thinking outside the box has nothing but benefits to offer to children and adults alike. It keeps you ahead of the curve and more prepared for challenges than everyone else. Children who are carefully taught to think outside the box become natural problem solvers. They find creative and innovative ways to tackle business, societal, family, and life issues.

Many critics, including parents, opine that the education system in Singapore is more specialized than imaginative, thereby creating very little room for creative thinking. The 2016 Global Innovation Index showed that creativity and imaginative prowess are not common traits among Singaporeans.

This is because the education system is fashioned to provide straightforward problems requiring straightforward answers. Note that this may have contributed to the growth of the economy but doesn't necessarily leave enough room for creativity and imagination.

This is why parents search for international schools that run on curricula created specifically to provide kids with the resources required to boost their creativity. Below are a few tips to help both parents and teachers to equip children with good outside-the-box thinking skills and potentials and to help them solve problems easily and effortlessly.

The role of teachers and parents in helping kids think outside the box

It is necessary as a parent to figure out the best way to make it successful from their early childhood. You can help your child succeed in school and the imminent smarter future by instilling a love for creativity and critical thinking to help them solve life- and work-related problems.

As a parent or teacher, you should push your children to attempt to solve a problem by using smarter and creative methods. Children are excellent at solving problems but find it difficult to focus. Employ creative methods yourself to help them find fun in the challenge and they will make it a habit.

How to help your kids to think outside the box

Below are four surefire ways to ensure that your child thinks creatively and outside the norm.

1. Providing Time for Play, and Include Problem Solving Games

Kids develop their inventiveness and skill while having fun. It's a win-win situation for everyone. However, not every kind of play helps a child's brain grow. You must incorporate certain games that help a child find it interesting to think outside the norm.

Playing helps kids build new skills that could lead to increased self-confidence and coping with future challenges. Some interesting games that can help kids develop essential problem-solving skills include Sudoku, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, computer games, board games, and many others.

Children begin to connect and engage with their families and the world around them at a very young age while playing with other kids. They develop and explore a world they can scale, overcoming their anxieties in the process.

Through properly structured and monitored play, kids learn how to work in a group, share, negotiate, and accept failure and generate solutions to life-related problems. Allow your children to learn at their speed and play games that could potentially shape their imagination and make them creative in their thinking.

2. Asking Open-ended Questions

Through open-ended questioning, children can better learn about the world around them and connect using this knowledge to make themselves better people. These questions don't have any right or incorrect answers, but they encourage children to think outside the box, generate ideas, and help them become more confident in their ability to use words.

It is far more essential to listen to children's responses than to ask open-ended questions. Make use of these tips to use open-ended questions with your child:

  • Pause for 5-10 seconds to provide the child time to ponder and come up with an idea. Make sure you don't interrupt them until they fully answer the questions.
  • Make it clear that you are interested in their suggestions. Continue to talk with your child until they give you a sign that it's time to move on. Use open-ended questions for various reasons, including teaching children about the importance of family.
  • Ensure that with each question you can teach them to be creative and think outside the box. Think of as many different ways to solve a problem that your child can come up with. Foster a greater sense of unity and cooperation.
  • Challenge them and encourage them to share their thoughts, emotions, and understandings about the topics.
  • Provide them with opportunities to explain or describe an idea. This could raise and strengthen their speech, language, and vocabulary abilities.

Children's short and long-term memory abilities are honed through recalling previous experiences. So, with the questions you come up with, you want to ensure that you can promote and enhance memorization skills.

3. Reducing Screen Time

Although screen time can be educational, depending on the programs you let them watch, it can also deter children from engaging in other activities that may involve the use of their creative minds for more productive tasks.

Reducing screen time may not be as easy as it sounds as children may find it more interesting to watch TV or use their mobile devices than to do school work. However, by properly implementing screen time regulations and serving as a good example yourself, you can train them to spend less time on screens and more on activities that promote creative thinking.

4. Letting Children have Their Alone Time

Letting children have their alone time helps children acquire a strong sense of creativity and self-confidence. They don't have to be constantly surrounded by other people. A strong sense of self-confidence will help them to feel at ease in any setting.

If you think about it, they spent almost half of their day in a classroom with other kids. When they are home, they should enjoy some free time with just them and their thoughts.

While children need to know that we'll always be there for them if they need us, they also benefit from learning to play independently. They will always rely on you, but they also need the ability to address their problems themselves.

Children's ability to communicate their sentiments to you improves as they understand their feelings better and the best way to better understand their feelings is to learn about themselves all alone. It also helps them develop a sense of responsibility to find solutions to their problems.

A continually changing and growing society

With all the future developments and automation going on in Singapore, our responsibility as parents is to prepare our children for a continually changing and growing society. We need to raise young children that are self-sufficient and creative. Unfortunately, these abilities can sometimes fall by the wayside in education.

By carefully implementing these four key points that have been mentioned above, you are already more than equipped with the perfect solution to help your child grow into a smarter adult who loves to think beyond the ordinary. One major miss that educators and parents fall into is neglecting the role of the education curriculum in developing smarter, out-of-the-box-thinking kids. What better place to learn to think more smartly than in school? This is why our curriculum at Invictus International School aims to instil global learning techniques in students. Visit Invictus International School for more information.