HERE’S A RIDDLE FOR YOU: You‘re driving along on a wild, stormy night and along the way you pass a bus stop. There are people waiting for the bus: an old lady who is about to die; an old friend who once saved your life; the perfect man or woman you have been dreaming about. Which one would you choose to give a ride to knowing there can only be one passenger in the car?
This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of a job application. You could pick up the elderly lady because she is going to die and it is kind to save her first; you could pick up the old friend because they once saved your life and this would be the perfect chance to pay them back; or you could take your perfect dream lover in case you might never be able to find them again. Take a moment to think about your answer before reading on. If you have a creative solution, please post it in the comments section below.
The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) came up with this answer: I would give the car keys to my old friend and let him take the old lady to the hospital and I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the person of my dreams.
Talk about thinking outside the box! Kids are resourceful and creative in coming up with solutions and ideas, not unlike the bus scenario. Obviously the job applicant who responded with this unique solution to the question was raised by a parent who fostered their imagination.
The above appeared in the book What Were You Thinking: 23 Ideas to Get Kids to Use Their Noodle by Tery Grant and Juliette Giorgio, who were my guest on this week’s podcast. Each of their 23 ideas includes a challenge, solution, and promise. For this thinking outside the box lesson, here’s what those look like:
Challenge: Children are followers; they do not feel comfortable to try new things and they dislike being different from their peers.
Solution: Take a box and label it ―New Ideas. Prompt your son or daughter to come up with a new, completely original idea, to write it down and place it in the box (or, place it outside the box!)
Promise: Children will challenge themselves to be innovative thinkers and not copycats.
We had time on the podcast for Tery and Juliette to share two other ideas to get your kids to use their noodle:
- One involved an unconventional way to think about mistakes and failure, and a some interesting ideas they had for how to grow from them.
- The final one involved some unexpected lessons you can help your kids draw from the movie The Wizard of Oz.
Click the play button above to listen to the full interview.
You can order Tery and Juliette’s book at Amazon here.
[The above excerpt from What Were You Thinking was used here with permission.]
Paul Smith is one of the world’s leading experts on business storytelling. He’s a keynote speaker, storytelling coach, and bestselling author of the books Lead with a Story and Parenting with a Story.
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