Children’s Creativity, Imaginativeness Develop More When They’re Not Watching Too Much Of Television

Children's creativity may be affected by their television habits. Experts found that watching too much television can hinder kids' imagination.

A huge study conducted in Canada in the 1980s -- a time when television was gaining popularity across the country -- found that children in towns with no television have higher divergent thinking skills and imaginativeness, according to Stanford University Libraries. The same cannot be said for their peers in households with television sets.

Nowadays, children and adults resort to digital devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops to prevent themselves from getting bored. Boredom, however, isn't bad and in fact, it is a state when people come up with imaginative ideas and solutions to problems.

Playwright and actress Meera Syal recounted how boredom pushed her to do activities outside her "usual sphere." This includes writing in a diary, an activity that Syal believes is the root of her writing career, Quartz reported.

Neuroscientist Susan Greenfield had the same experience as Syal. According to Greenfield, she drew and wrote stories when she was a child to entertain herself. These hobbies turned out to be the precursors of her career as an adult and made her pursue a scientific study of human behavior.

Parents need not worry whenever their children complain that they are bored. Instead of giving them a digital device or turning on a television for them, it's better to allow kids to create their own pastimes that don't require expensive materials.

Simple and common objects like big boxes and crayons will do. They can also play dress-up in the attic, or paint in the garage, garden, or in any other creative spaces. Parents would be surprised at the things kids can come up with.

Allowing children to create their pastimes can encourage them to become self-reliant and competent people who can think for themselves. It also helps them develop qualities such as confidence, curiosity, interest, playfulness and perseverance.

To cultivate creativity among kids, parents should allow them to explore their ideas and not boss them around. Constraining children's actions can reduce flexibility in their thinking and hamper their creative juices, according to Greater Good.

Reading for pleasure is one of children's activities that diminish due to the rise of digital devices. Parent Herald previously reported that kids who read books for pleasure tend to have high test results in school when they turn 16. Reading for pleasure also increases children's intellectual progress in spelling, vocabulary, and mathematics.

Any thoughts on how to encourage children's creativity and imaginativeness? Please share in the comment section below.

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