Educating Children to Think Outside the Box
Jun 25, 2011 Young Learners 2022 Views
When asked the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" my nine year old daughter constantly replies "a famous singer".
When I try to bring her gently back to reality by asking "but what if you don't manage to succeed in being a singer, she immediately replies, "then I will be a famous actress instead."
It is sad but true that in today's fame obsessed culture most young people aspire to be a famous celebrity rather than seeking careers in the more traditional roles like nursing, teaching or becoming a lawyer.
How can we, as parents, address this situation?
In my opinion it is vital that we try to educate our children to know that there are other exciting opportunities available for them that can lead to being successful and fulfilled in life.
In addition to promoting the traditional roles like teaching and nursing we should also try to encourage our children to "think out of the box".
Very often we live our lives as though we are in a box. We pursue roles and lives that we feel we ought to. We are educated to think that we need to either get a job straight from school or to obtain a degree if we want a" higher" profession. We are encouraged to seek traditional careers and to keep the status quo.
This does not have to be the case. As well as valuing the traditional education offered to our young daughters we should also try to encourage our children by stimulating their imagination to think of more exciting ways to succeed. Our youngest daughter is already showing great business and entrepreneurial potential. She particularly enjoys watching entrepreneurial programs and gets quite excited when she tries to think of ideas of her own for various tasks presented in these programs. My children also enjoy helping me to devise various ideas for my business and my website. They quite often offer me very novel ways to present my web pages.
My wife enjoys nurturing their creative skills in other ways. Very often they enjoy making things outdoors like mobiles made from twigs and leaves or jewellery made from string, wood, leaves and flowers. My eldest daughter even made a beautiful necklace from a shell that she placed on to a piece of chord. She often jokes that she is one day going to open a stall selling her home made jewellery to make extra pocket money. This enterprising spirit should be encouraged as many top entrepreneurs have started out by selling something small for extra pocket money and gone on to bigger fortunes...Just look at Lord Sugar who is a perfect example of this.
My youngest daughter enjoys being creative by writing stories along with her own illustrations when she has been on an "adventure" with her mum. When she returns from a walk in the woods both she and my wife then sit and write stories about who they think live is the tree in the woods. My daughter particularly likes these stories as one of the trees actually has a door with a handle on it. She is convinced that a family of squirrels live there whereas my wife writes that a family of goblins live there. It doesn't really matter which version is best, the important thing is that it stimulates my daughter's imagination and actually encourages her to write, something that she isn't normally keen on doing. Who knows it could also encourage her to be a famous writer in the future.
It doesn't really matter which career path our children take. The important thing is to ensure that they enjoy whatever they choose to do and that they realise there are many other exciting opportunities available other than the traditional roles that are encouraged at school. Using entrepreneurial and creative skills can easily lead to running a successful business. As can utilising good writing and illustrative skills. If your children choose the right career path for them, whatever that might be, they will be capable of achieving the same success and fulfilment that they would get by being a celebrity. The plus side is that they would be able to still enjoy their lives and privacy without fearing that they are being followed at every opportunity by the media.
My name is Roy Derrick and I live in South Wales with my wife and four children. I began my working career as a gas engineer but soon realised that I wanted to start my own business and reap any rewards for myself. I opened three retail shops and a food manufacturing company and won several national awards for best retailer including an all expenses trip to New York paid for by Richard Branson. This whet my appetite to want to become an entrepreneur.
I sold my retail outlets in 2002 and started up my own construction and development company which has established itself into a successful business. As well as running the construction business I also run a successful internet marketing company and also coach others on how to succeed in business.