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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Creativity of U.S. Kids in Decline

As a parent of two kids with active imaginations, ages 8 and 6 respectively, I was stunned by a story in a recent issue of Newsweek magazine that heralded a steady decline of creativity amongst American children since 1990. Here's the link:

The article defines creativity as the production of something useful and original that intially requires divergent thinking that's subsequently combined with thought patterns that then unify the diverse thoughts together. According to the research cited in the story, the greatest decline in creativity occurred among kids between ages 5 and 11 years - (yikes, that's the age range of my two girls!)

The primary culprits behind this creative collapse of kids are the usual suspects - too much TV and video games coupled with too little brain-stimulating activities. While we've long heard those were the lathergic causes of epidemic levels of chilhood obesity, I had not extended those lax-inducing effects to creativity and cognition but my wife and I will going forward.

It's something every parent now needs to keep in mind as we strive to positively protect and develop the minds of our kids. This country needs creative problem solving now and in the future if we hope to continue to thrive.

Our collective kids are the key to that future.

Just as good parents need to ensure healthy choices that feed our kids' bodies, we need to offer healthful options that feed their minds and creativity as well - Halo and Grand Theft Auto be damned!


  1. So..the next time our oldest says, "Let's have a drawing contest!" we better just do it, at least she's not saying "let's watch a show!"
    Yikes! Thanks for the info, husband.