How to Raise Creative Children Who Can Change the World: 3 Lessons from Wharton Professor Adam Grant

Adam Grant, a pro­fes­sor at The Whar­ton School of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia, has been “rec­og­nized as Whar­ton’s top-rat­ed teacher for five straight years, and as one of the world’s 25 most influ­en­tial man­age­ment thinkers.” He’s also the author of the best­selling book Orig­i­nals: How Non-Con­formists Move the World, a study that exam­ines “what it takes to be cre­ative and cham­pi­on new ideas.”

Speak­ing at the 2016 Aspen Ideas Fes­ti­val ear­li­er this year, Grant asks the ques­tion: What do Nobel Prize-win­ning sci­en­tists do dif­fer­ent­ly than their more ordi­nary peers? The answer: They’re twice as like­ly to play musi­cal instru­ments. Sev­en times more like­ly to draw or paint. 12 times more like­ly to write fic­tion or poet­ry. And 22 times more like­ly to per­form as dancers, actors or magi­cians.

Case in point Ein­stein, who nev­er trav­eled with­out his beloved vio­lin and saw a direct cor­re­la­tion between his ground­break­ing work in physics and his musi­cal life.

For Grant, it’s nev­er too ear­ly to cul­ti­vate cre­ativ­i­ty. So above, he out­lines three things par­ents can do to encour­age their children’s cre­ative devel­op­ment.

1. Focus on val­ues over rules.
2. Praise their char­ac­ter, not their behav­ior. Get them to see them­selves as cre­ative at heart.
3. Help them draw cre­ative lessons from the books they read.

This all pre­sum­ably gets cov­ered in greater depth in Chap­ter 6 of Orig­i­nals: How Non-Con­formists Move the WorldThe chap­ter is enti­tled “Rebel with a Cause: How Sib­lings, Par­ents and Men­tors Nur­ture Orig­i­nal­i­ty.”

Below you can watch Grant’s TED Talk, “The sur­pris­ing habits of orig­i­nal thinkers.” The video above was shot by The Atlantic.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Albert Ein­stein Tells His Son The Key to Learn­ing & Hap­pi­ness is Los­ing Your­self in Cre­ativ­i­ty (or “Find­ing Flow”)

The Musi­cal Mind of Albert Ein­stein: Great Physi­cist, Ama­teur Vio­lin­ist and Devo­tee of Mozart

The Long Game of Cre­ativ­i­ty: If You Haven’t Cre­at­ed a Mas­ter­piece at 30, You’re Not a Fail­ure

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