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There are a lot of things we practice in our household (like politeness and shoe tying), because - after all - practice makes perfect. That is not a phrase my son likes to hear. He (like most children) gets frustrated when he is unable to master something on the first try.

We've all been there.

But this article in the New York Times makes an excellent point: Practice may make perfect, but it doesn't make new. As in: Originality never came through repetition.


So how do we foster creativity and original thinking? The article points out that households with creative-minded children had a lack of rules in them, allowing children to forge their own behaviors. (It wasn't a land of chaos; families that lived that way put emphasis on values over rules.) 

I, for one, am not sure that I could live in a household where my son chooses his own bedtime.

Luckily there are other ideas, like allowing your child to choose their own passions in life, rather than force them into structured music lessons or hand them over to a high-strung coach who promises to mold your little one into a world-class athlete. And that is an idea that I can support: I can help my son pursue his interests instead of forcing him into my own.

What activities does your child really enjoy that they found on their own? Tell me in the comments.

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