Children have no boundaries. Children know nothing of mistakes. Children have no fear.
Adults are bound by the fear of making mistakes.
So, what happens in the middle that enforces such a radical change?
School. Education. Exams. Tests.
Our education system, mostly notably more recently, has created a climate of fear and trepidation for all who enter into it, and for those who work within it. Fear of failure.
Sir Ken Robinson once recounted a story about a child in the back of a class who was wholly engaged in a drawing activity. Ordinarily, the child was largely disengaged in class. The teacher asked the child what they were drawing.
‘God’ the child replied.
‘But no one knows what God looks like’, the teacher responded.
‘They will in a minute’, replied the child.
Children know no boundaries. As soon as we start creating boundaries for them, they lose the desire to take chances, make mistakes and be unique, or create something new and inventive.
“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”
“We stigmatize mistakes in school, mistakes are the worst thing you can make. We are educating our kids out of their creative capacities.” Sir Ken Robinson
Our goals should be to ensure that children are given the opportunity to be unique. To ensure that children want to try, to take those chances, to have no fear and to certainly not be fearful of making mistakes.