Open-minded mothers are more likely to encourage children’s creativity, finds study

Certain personality traits are more likely to cultivate a creative environment for children to flourish

Sabrina Barr
Tuesday 05 December 2017 11:13
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Mothers with open personalities are more likely to foster a creative environment for their children, a study has discovered.

Researchers from universities in Poland, led by Joanna Martin Kwaśniewska, investigated the correlation between the personality traits of mothers and how this affects the creative pursuits of their children.

Surveying over 3,000 mothers from across Poland, the researchers analysed their personalities based on the Big Five Trait model.

As is evident by the name of the model, it focuses on five main traits in particular - extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness and neuroticism.

The mothers also had to fill in a questionnaire that assessed the environment in which they raise their children and how this may impact willingness to pursue creative endeavours.

Only mothers were included in the study as in Poland women tend to be the primary caregivers in the family.

The results of the study concluded that mothers who exhibit openness are able to cultivate the most creative conditions for their children.

“Our findings show that openness to experience is the key positive predictor of mothers’ activities that shape the climate for creativity in her relationship with the child,” the researchers wrote.

However, openness wasn’t the only attribute that was found to encourage creativity.

Other important characteristics were extraversion, emotional stability and agreeableness.

Extroverted, emotionally stable and agreeable mothers were able to motivate their children to be innovative and learn from their mistakes.

It seems that inspiring children to think outside the box and be creative comes down to a combination of four actions from their mothers - encouraging children to try new and different things, teaching them not to conform to the norm, teaching them how to persevere and giving them the freedom to fantasise.

Mothers and fathers alike, take note. All children have the ability to push themselves creatively, but their environment could play a massive role in helping them reach their potential.

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