Your kids can teach you about being divergent, and no I’m not talking about the movie!
So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 18:4
As adults, I think we have a lot to learn from kids. For instance, they are really good at divergent thinking, even though they don’t even understand what it means. Heck, I didn’t until I read this:
Divergent thinking is intellectual originality. It is creative and counterintuitive thought. It is thinking outside the box.
I’m sure you’ve seen that in your kids. They are creative, crazy, and come up with really bizarre ways to play and express themselves. That’s one of the reasons why they make us laugh so much. Kids are just plain awesome at thinking outside the box.
Based on a study I read, 98 percent of children between the ages of three and five score in the genius category for divergent thinking. Between the ages of eight and ten, that number drops to 32 percent. By the time the kids become teenagers, it drops down to 10 percent. And only 2 percent of those over twenty-five scored in the genius category for divergent thinking.
Your preschoolers are geniuses when it comes to being creative! What happens to us as we grow older that makes us want to stop thinking outside the box and always insist on coloring inside the lines?
I don’t know about you, but I want every member of my family to exercise our divergent thinking muscles. If you do too, then keep these things in mind:
- Encourage each other to step out of your comfort zones and try new and scary things.
- Support each others’ dreams, instead of “being realistic.” Life has a way of crushing dreams without your help.
- Give each other permission to be “abnormal,” and not laugh in derision when the result is something outrageously creative.
- Teach your kids that it’s okay to stand out in the crowd, that peer pressure can turn them into people that they really aren’t deep down, that the best gift you can give each other is the permission to be creatively unique.
Although parents do want kids to mature and grow up, Scripture encourages adults to continue to humble themselves as children do. And one way that humility is expressed is in the desire to try new things, to think divergently.
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