10 Ways To Inspire Your Kids

Plant the seeds of curiosity, imagination and creativity in your children

You probably already know how important it is for kids to indulge their creative side, but even when they’re up for being imaginative, many projects are mostly a lesson in following instructions. That’s certainly valuable, but true creativity also involves figuring things out for themselves. Neal Bascomb learned this lesson while writing his book, The New Cool. The author followed a team of 31 high school seniors in Goleta, California who, in the span of just six weeks working alongside mentors, built a robot for an international competition. “This project-based, interactive experience inspires kids like nothing I’ve ever seen,” Bascomb says. Read on for tips on how to inspire your own children.

1. Practice what you preach.

“Mentor and coach alongside your children,” advises Bascomb. “It’s incredibly inspiring for kids to work with their parents, instead of simply taking directions from them.” This way, they’ll see that you’re truly invested in their success and will view you as an ally. And hey, maybe you’ll learn something new, too! So next time they need your help with a project, instead of telling them how to do it, jump in and try to figure it out together.

2. Encourage hands-on activities.

Bascomb stresses the importance of “getting in there and working with your hands,” explaining that there is something almost primal about our desire to build and create. Put away the computers and smartphones, get some tools––even just a hammer, nails and wood––and build something together. “You might light a fire inside your kid that you didn’t know existed.” You’ll also help your child connect to and appreciate the way of life that previous generations experienced, before video games and the Internet.

3. Expect more from your kids.

It can be tempting to over-assist in an effort to help your child succeed, but hand-holding can backfire and send the message that she can’t do it on her own. Instead, says Bascomb, “give your kids responsibility, and expect more from them. It’s amazing what kids are able to do if you push them to take a leadership role, formulate their own ideas and execute them. Give them the tools they need, and let them run.”

4.  Read the rest of the post, by Tori Rodriguez here.

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