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Brain Development

Between the ages of about five to nine years old, children learn that others do not think about things in the same way as they do. Before age seven, your child will believe that others see the world in the same way she does. Around age seven, your child will begin to think in a more logical way and will understand that others have different thoughts, but she will be unable to think about abstract or more complex ideas for a few more years.

There are things we can do as parents that will help our children to think about things in a different way. Promoting creativity, for example, helps children grow and learn. Encouraging creativity will also help your child develop strong problem-solving skills that will be useful in all areas of her life.

You can promote creativity by encouraging your child to come up with new ideas, praising her ideas and then talking about how some might work better than others. You can also talk about how parts of an idea might work or could be combined to create a new, better idea.

Tell your child that you believe he is creative and that it does not matter what others think of his ideas or abilities. He should know the value of his idea is based on usefulness and originality, not on coolness. It's also a good idea to let him know that there is often more than one right answer to a problem. Let your child lead you; he might have a strong interest in radio waves or crocodiles – let him follow his interests. Finally, try your best to be a creative thinker and talk about these ideas with your child and other family members.

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