Brainstorming is a great way to generate ideas, and to come up with creative solutions to problems. Yes, with your child! But something even more interesting might be anticonventional thinking (ACT). ACT addresses the inherent weaknesses of brainstorming and is modeled on the way artists, musicians, scientists and other creative people develop ideas.
I love to see parents using talk time with their kids – so why not make it fun. Here is an example of a dinner conversation that I had with my five-year-old. His homework was “think of a problem and write six sentences about it.” We decided to do a real life problem
Our Problem: Daddy is going to be home late tonight. How many ways can we say this?
Instead of just stating this as a fact, I wanted to help build up vocabulary as well as through in some problem solving skills.
- Daddy is late.
- Daddy is really late.
- Daddy is the latest he has ever been.
- Daddy will miss dinner.
- Daddy will miss my bedtime.
- Daddy is so late the sun will come up.
(printed with permissions from Grant age 5)
I asked Grant to continue and do more than what was required and to try and think of something that his Dad might laugh about when he got home. He continued with:
- Daddy is so late that we moved to Disneyland.
- Daddy is so late I am already in college.
I have to admit that this did make me laugh and we did get to share it when his dad arrive home later that evening as we were still eating dinner.