How To Encourage Young Boys To Be Innovative

The most successful people in the world today are innovative. Successful companies like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google were founded by people who thought outside the box and came up with ideas to address and solve the needs of people.

Many young boys already have an innovative mindset. Children start learning even before birth, and can develop social, cognitive, and academic skills at an unprecedented rate from birth until age five.  These 3 tips can help you nurture boys’ capacity for innovation:  

1. Motivate them to be curious 

little boy playing with plastic shovel in the dirt in a backyard

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Curiosity is one of the most significant aspects of innovation. Curiosity translates to the strong desire to know or learn about something. Curious people are often unsatisfied with the status quo; instead, they want to gather as much information as possible about something that piques their interests. It’s worth noting that curiosity in young boys can motivate them to experiment and brainstorm until they come up with a plausible solution to problems. They try to come at problems from all angles, causing them to build persistence and the ability to run through obstacles. Curious kids will keep questioning all around them and how they can improve things. 

If you notice this trait in your sons, do not discourage them. Rather, motivate them to cultivate it. Model curiosity as well. You can walk with your kids and wonder aloud at the sky, trees, traffic lights, and so on. You can also pay attention to their natural interests and act accordingly. For instance, if they are fascinated by bugs, you can get them books that delve into this subject. You’ll also find it helpful to pose open-ended questions to them and visit the library often. 

2. Encourage them to be creative 

A creative person can produce original and new ideas, performances, sounds, images, and the like. Indeed, this trait is an essential part of innovation and has advantages. For instance, it enables children to discover their talents and passions earlier, motivating them to persevere when facing challenges. Likewise, creativity can also boost emotional intelligence in kids, which can help them to face stressful situations. It’s also worth noting that creative kids have high self-esteem and grow up to become successful adults. Seeing these advantages, you can encourage your boys to be productive if you haven’t already. Reading to them is a great way to stimulate their imagination while building their problem-solving, vocabulary, language, and emotional intelligence. 

Moreover, reading to them can prompt them to ask questions and develop their thinking skills. Art is also a great way to unleash your kids’ creativity, so feel free to leverage it. You can invest in various art supplies like pencils, crayons, wax, pens, non-toxic paint, paint brushes, paper, age-appropriate scissors, and so on. Experts recommend using blank canvases over store-bought coloring books, as they allow your boys to start from scratch. Resources like Learn Bright also shed more light on the lives of great artists, and your kids can explore these stories to boost their creativity. 

3. Let them take risks 

smiling woman playing with two young male children

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It’s not uncommon for parents to want to shield their kids and prevent them from taking risks. While the intentions behind this may be noble, this practice may be more harmful than beneficial. Shielding them from risks can keep them in a bubble, and they can miss out on great opportunities if they grow with this mindset. Therefore, encourage your boys to take risks whenever the opportunity presents itself. This way, they can learn that failure is not the end of life but a stepping stone to greatness. This, in turn, can help them develop a healthy relationship with failure instead of fearing it. It’s also worth noting that innovative people take all forms of risks in order to achieve their dreams, goals, and objectives. 

Fortunately, you can encourage risk-taking in various ways. You can create a supportive environment for your boys whenever they want to try something new. Let them ask questions and reassure them when they feel nervous or afraid. While at it, ensure they tackle age-appropriate tasks; start small and gradually increase the risk level when they get comfortable. For instance, if they are learning to ride a bicycle, you can install training wheels until they have mastered the art of riding. 

Raising innovative boys can be beneficial, as they will grow into responsible and successful men. 

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The Building Boys Bulletin

The Building Boys Bulletin Newsletter gives you the facts, encouragement, and inspiration you need to help boys thrive. Written by Jennifer L.W. Fink, mom of four sons and author of Building Boys: Raising Great Guys in a World That Misunderstands Males, Building Boys Bulletin includes:

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“I learned a lot about helping boys thrive over the past 20+ years — most of it the hard way! I’m eager to share what I’ve learned to make your path a little easier.”   – Jennifer

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