Element of a Confident Kid… Brainstormer
: an idea that someone thinks of suddenly
A brainstormer sees differences, complexities and multiple perspectives. She finds many sides to any issue, not one or two. It is no accident that as children become more adept at taking other’s perspectives, they also begin to think in greater abstractions and less in literal terms. Children below the age of five may feel there is one way to do things. Do you remember the “I do it myself!” stage? But as children move through ages 5-7, they begin to use symbols to represent concepts such as a math equation where 2 + 2 = 4. Socially, they see that the other child may have ideas about playing with a set of Legos that might be different from their own and have the ability to learn from those ideas.
A developing confident kid is one who is able to see that there are numerous sides to most issues. And there are as many perspectives as there are people in any given room. Children can fall into competitive cycles in which they only see their own side. And in sports, sometimes that’s useful. But in problem-solving, it’s not. Children need practice in thinking about the varied ways they might solve a problem. This creative thinking can spur them to ideas, dreams and inspirations that can contribute to their school lives, their imaginative play and their success later in the workplace and in their relationships. Imagine your son all grown up and with his spouse. She comes to him with a serious dilemma that threatens to unseat the firm foundation of their relationship. Your son, practiced in the art of brainstorming, will have the ability to think of the world of options in collaboration with his partner. He’ll be able to hear and attempt to understand her perspective before making any decisions that could affect their future together.
Our willingness to acknowledge that we only see half the picture creates the
conditions that make us more attractive to others. The more sincerely we acknowledge our need for their different insights and perspectives, the more they will be magnetized to join us.
– Margaret J. Wheatley
Strategy to practice brainstorming:
In order to practice brainstorming, you must understand the rules first.
1. Think of as many ideas as possible. Get creative.
2. Acknowledge that every idea is valid.
3. No criticisms or judgements of an idea should be made until all thoughts are articulated.
4. Piggybacking on someone else’s ideas is encouraged.
Practice brainstorming in simple ways. Make it a dinnertime or road trip game. Use the aforementioned rules with your family and throw out an enjoyable topic. See how many subjects in each category you can generate. Have a recorder write them down and count at the end. Each time you play, see if you can beat your last high idea score! Here are some topics to try.
- Ice cream flavors
- Action movies
- Super heroes
- Animals – in a part of the world (jungle, dessert)
- Countries in the world
- Fruits or vegetables
- Types of transportation/Vehicles
- Greatest songs of all time
What would you like to brainstorm with your family? How could it impact family disagreements and problem-solving?
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved on 9-23-14 at http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brainstorm.