Innovation. Without it, we simply just don’t move forward. Whilst it comes naturally to some, it is imperative to help children to develop a growth mindset, apposed to a fixed one. This will help them with problem-solving, with relationships, with resilience and coping with all the challenges that life will throw at them. It will improve their relationships personally and professionally.
If you have been following me for a while you know how passionate I am about children (and adults) finding their strengths and passions and utilising these gifts to make change, create and to live their purpose. When people truly are living their WHY and using their gifts then jealously, comparison, hate is thrown out the window because everyone is focused on themselves and their own path for the greater good.
So in the classroom, I developed many programs that taught entrepreneurship (let’s face it, the careers our children will have are not even known yet – who even knew what a social media influencer or manager was 3 years ago). So it is imperative as teachers and parents to allow children to explore and innovate. Here are 5 quick ways you can help your child at home (you can also implement these strategies for yourself – why not model this behaviour to your child and use it as another avenue for self-care. This will help ignite and/or nurture an entrepreneurial mind for you and your child.
In.no.vate – to begin or introduce (something new) for, or as if for, the first time.
WORK OUT A PROBLEM.
Ask your child what is something they think isn’t working great. It can be at school, around the house, getting ready to leave the house, eating out at cafes, holidays – what do they want more of but feel their is something holding them or the family back. It could also be a social problem or environmental they are witnessing that they want to help. It could relate to their siblings or how they learn. Get them to identify a ‘problem’, their job is to fix it. BONUS TIP: A ‘think’ board, it can be somewhere central in the house or in the study, it could be a whiteboard, whenever an idea pops into their head or they see a problem (could even be when they are watching TV, it could spark an idea) get them to write down it on the ‘think’ board so they can come back to it later but this way they won’t forget it.
Google gives its employees ‘20 per cent time’ (where they can use 20 per cent of their working week on their own special projects) for a reason – to innovate. Use 20 per cent of your week to allow your child (and you!) to create something new or work on a passion project. (If you want to learn more about passion projects you can download my course here).
TRY DIFFERENT WAYS.
Thomas Edison said, “There’s a way to do it better – find it”. Sit down with your child and explain what is taking too long to do things for example around the house. You spend a lot of time, washing, cooking, cleaning, putting clothes away – ask them to work out a new way of doing things.
This is an important lesson for children to learn as well as adults. Whatever you are creating, not everyone is going to love it, that is ok, that is how change really is made and how you find your dedicated audience. So at the end of the month create time for reflection of passion projects. Get the whole family to sit around and everyone explains what they are working on (like a progress update – this is great to do with your partner too), everyone comes around the table and gives a rating out of 5 with their reasons. Remind them this is a safe place and whatever feedback is given you decide if you want to take it on and everyone MUST give a reason for their feedback. Feedback is important however, approval is overrated. Steve Jobs said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”.
HANG WITH YOUR TRIBE.
The doers, the creatives, the engineers, the big-picture people, thinkers, daydreamers, strategists and detail-orientated types. Children (and adults) thrive when they work and play with like-minded people. Find your child’s strengths and surround them with friends, family members (young or old), that think the same way as them. Not only is this great for self-esteem but also for innovating. As a child, I used to have a lot of deep conversations with elderly people or people 30+ years old than me, even now. Encourage and nurture this, and involve your child in their conversations that you have as adults, and never ‘dumb’ your language down for a child. Explain the language to them.
MOON SHOOTING. Google it.
Come and tell me here @storyandco what you or your child has innovated.