5 Tips to Raise Creative Children

UPDATED: December 14, 2016
PUBLISHED: December 14, 2016

We need to redefine how we measure intelligence in children to focus more on creativity, says Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D., the scientific director of the Imagination Institute and a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center. Standardized tests and the ability to regurgitate memorized information aren’t necessarily the best ways to measure intelligence. “Understanding a person’s test score is not understanding a person,” he said at IPEN’s Festival of Positive Education.

Related: 6 Ways to Cultivate Your Child’s Inner Strength

Here are Kaufman’s steps for cultivating creativity in children:

1. Allow time for constructive daydreaming.

In school, an example of this would be connecting the lesson plans directly to each student’s personal goals.

2. Support harmonious passion.

Instead of obsessive passion, where one’s goals are dependent on external contingencies.

3. Encourage diversity of experiences.

Allow your child to engage in anything that may shatter someone’s worldviews or assumptions of how the world works. Give children a more flexible perspective on themselves and the world.

4. Foster a sense of risk-taking.

Let children know they can be divergent thinkers.

5. Applaud outside-of-the-box thinking.

And appreciate the unique minds of children who might have learning differences. Children should feel as though there are a wide range of possibilities and not just one single answer for every problem.

Related: How to Make Sure Your Children Become More Successful Than You


This article originally appeared in the December 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.

Jamie Friedlander is a freelance writer based in Chicago and the former features editor of SUCCESS magazine. Her work has been published in The Cut, VICE, Inc., The Chicago Tribune and Business Insider, among other publications. When she's not writing, she can usually be found drinking matcha tea into excess, traveling somewhere new with her husband or surfing Etsy late into the night.