A good friend of mine sent me this article after reading my previous ramble. Here are some choice snippets from that article that resonated with me.

Values not Rules:

Focus on teaching values than rules. Instead of, “Here’s the list of things that you’re allowed to do and not to do,” say, “Here are the principles that are important in this family, and let’s talk about how you want to express them.”

I have been guilty of creating or enforcing rules.

I am not a rebel in any stretch of imagination. But even I refuse to follow rules without getting a background for why that rule exists. I have to buy into a process in order to follow it. It is only fair that I provide the same for my son. This does not mean there are no more rules, but every rule will come with an explanation. 

“Here are the rules we have. And this is what they mean to us. This is how they really connect with our core values.”

Conditionals not Absolutes:

“Kids are much more likely to think in original ways if you teach them in conditionals rather than in absolutes.”

Instead of saying, “This is a book,” teach them, “This could be a book.”

In other words, teach a child to question the assumptions rather than accepting that there is one right answer. This reminds me of the Candle problem

Brain writing not Brainstorming:

If you take five students and put them in a brainstorming group together, you will get fewer ideas and less original ideas than if you had taken those same five students and let them work independently, in separate rooms, by themselves.

You put kids in separate rooms, what you get is all of the ideas on the table, and then you can bring the group together for what the group does best, which is the wisdom of crowds. The evaluating.

That technique is actually called brain writing.

This is a suggestion for a classroom setting but I think it has great potential for adult teams at work. Imagine coming to a meeting with a your ideas written down and debating the merits of each idea instead of coming up with ideas in a meeting and having to defend it at once.

Procrastination can lead to originality:

Great originality comes from being quick to start but slow to finish. That when you dive right into a task, you close yourself off to incubation. If you finish early, you’re stuck only with your most conventional ideas, your first ones.

I want to thank Paul for sending me the article. I think I’ve picked up a few neat tricks.