The reality is many forward thinking employers are always looking for the team that is going to help give them ‘that edge.’ They are looking for the employees that go above and beyond and have the creative and critical thinking skills that help to solve the wide variety of workplace challenges that arise. The question is, are we raising our girls to be able to fit this need?
Many believe that boys take more risks than girls. There could be a number of reasons for this, which range from being more confident to being more reckless! The reality is we need to ensure that we are raising our girls to be confident and creative problem solvers.
In 2006 Ken Robinson gave a TED Talk entitled: How Schools Kill Creativity. In it he discussed the idea that “creativity is as important in education as literacy.” He shares his belief that children are born with a great capacity for innovation and being creative, but then somehow when they enter formal schooling they begin to fear being wrong. This fear of being wrong often slows down the creative process and “educates people out of their creative capacities.” In order to come up with original ideas you have to be prepared to be wrong every now and then. If we take his views and put them into the context of today’s girl child, it’s important for us to remember that we need to foster and embrace creativity and prepare our girls to understand that it is okay to be wrong because if you are not willing to take a risk or be wrong it is very difficult to develop original ideas with value.
In order to foster creativity in our girls, we need to be thinking about it through their childhood and adolescent years. We need to encourage our girls to develop their ideas without a fear of being wrong or judged. We also need to make sure that we are not only equating being creative to being talented in the arts. Although we often refer to those who are talented in the arts as being creative, the reality is creativity thrives in many disciplines.
We need to start by thinking about the ways in which our girls experience the world. We tend to think about the world in the ways that we experience it. If your child is one who moves around a lot, chances are they learn and experience best in their environment through movement. If your child is one who loves to draw or needs to see things visually, chances are that is the way they are going to learn and experience the world best. Likewise, if your child is strong in the auditory environment, this is the way they are likely going to learn and experience best. Once you have taken time to observe the ways in which your girls experience the world best, encourage them to explore, experiment and to play!
Explore: Whether it be exploring : in the garden, with paint, in books, with voice, or with a pen. Encourage them to explore their environment.
Experiment: Once you get a feel for what your girls like to explore, find ways to allow them to experiment in those areas.
Play: Make it fun! Remember that creativity should be fun. Find ways to help them get lost in the areas they are exploring and experimenting.
Giving our girls the tools they need to embrace their versions of creativity, will help them find their place in the world as they grow up. It’s important that we provide our girls with the tools they need in case they decide that they want to be an ‘Out of the Box Girl.’