Creative problem Solving In Teenagers 2

Creativity enables alternative ways of thinking 

Like any other skill, creativity is taught through practice. But much more than that, creative thinking unblocks old patterns or habits of thinking. The process of creative thinking forces your brain to leave its comfort zone and generate thoughts in different ways and patterns, engaging in situations in an alternative way.

Creativity connects us to ourselves.

Creativity is inspired by thinking and the ability to use imagination in everyday life. To encourage creativity, we need to encourage teenagers to ask questions about the things they are unsure of and look for the answers. We need to encourage them to experience different methods of problem-solving and explore their own opinions and beliefs. 

It is important to teach our children that not everyone thinks alike and that too is fine. Sharing thoughts and ideas in a productive manner helps cultivate creativity. Sharing ideas on how a certain experience can be solved, is important to teach teenagers that there are many ways a problem can be solved. Therefore we need to instill that it is normal to be challenged out of your comfort zone.

However, for some teenagers, the ability to challenge out of their comfort zone might result in anxiety or the inability to do the task at hand out of fear of doing something wrong or not achieving the result they hoped for.

There is always hope. With the help of your Psychologist, the methods of thinking can be enhanced and altered. We can also help with the process of changing the way our teens think. The ways we can induce positive and creative thinking is easier than we think.


When your teen asks for help with a certain problem (whether it be math or an upcoming project), we are often resorting to words like “what do I know about math or not another project”. Instead, we need to encourage them to explain how they think the problem should be solved and teach them it is fine to ask for help.

The second thing we could do is involve them in simple family matters. “The living room is always messy, how can we solve this” or for our next family trip, where would you like to go? Asking them for their opinions about simple situations makes them feel important and their opinions valued.

Go for walks.

This might be easier said than done. But once they get the hang of it, they do eventually look forward to it. Talk about silly things in life. This is not the time to draw information out of your teenager. This should be an activity to get out of the house and just enjoy the silence. Ask them to choose which direction they would like to walk or which way to take home. Don’t be afraid to get lost. This teaches them that it is normal. We are all human.

Praise your teenager’s effort, not the result.

Instead of complaining about a bad grade, rather commend them for the amount of time they put into studying for the exam. Don’t jump to conclusions about what to think about the bad grade. Rather ask why the exam was difficult or what they were struggling with. It is important to remember, you are not encouraging them to come home with bad grades all the time. But rather to let them think of why their grades are lower than normal.

Don’t jump in and fix their problems.

Teens struggle with anxiety and perfectionism and as parents, we have a natural instinct to “fix” things. The problem is that when we fix everything on their behalf, they never learn to develop problem-solving skills. A better approach would be to cheer them on so they develop the mental habits that will support them throughout their lives and find a way to solve it together.  

These are all problems teenagers face on a daily basis. From being too afraid to make their own choices to other teenagers jumping at the opportunity to be able to take the lead (often resulting in bad decisions). It is important to remember, that teenagers learn from mistakes. Sometimes, all it takes is just being there, supporting them and encouraging them to try different things, pushing them out of their comfort zones to enable their creative side. Sometimes, all they need is advice – not a lecture for making the wrong decisions. As a parent, we need to voice our opinions, but do it in a supportive manner encouraging them to indulge their creativity rather than focusing on their mistakes.