You might remember one instance where you told a child to ‘stop daydreaming’. It could just be that this child wasn’t as focused as you would have hoped and you had to redirect his or her attention back to the task at hand. It could also be that this child was doing something absently and you could see the concentration in his or her eyes begin to wane.
Before you tell a child to stop daydreaming, consider this.
Consider that this child is being immersed in a world of his or her own; one where he or she draws his or her creative energy. Consider that daydreaming is just another way of learning for many children. Consider that a desire to daydream is seen as intelligence in kids.
Daydreaming promotes creativity in children. Tanner Christensen says “Creativity is one part intelligence and one part fearless daydreaming”. Without the ability to break out of the shell and think of things they’ve never thought of before, it would be hard for a child to really touch upon his or her true potential. In fact, daydreaming children who are able to spin an imaginative story are more likely to play for longer periods of time.
Cognitive therapist Dan Roberts, in his new study, suggests that appearing distracted or absent-minded may be a sign that your child’s brain is better at multitasking, which has arguably become an in-demand skill.
In fact, Amy Fries, author of Daydreams at Work: Wake Up Your Creative Powers, even suggests that daydreaming doesn’t mean your child’s brain switches off; it taps into another neural network which reviews what it’s seen and experienced and thinks about what might happen in the future. That sounds like a classic way for an artist to get their inspiration, if you ask us.
So why not allow your child some leeway with his or her daydreaming? One of many great ways to encourage children to be creative is to ask about their ideas. ‘What did you do today?’ and ‘What did you think about this?’ are simple conversations starters that will bring your child’s attention back to the present. Your child will gain confidence and weave imaginative, intricate stories that will have you wondering how they came up with them. All good artists never reveal their secrets, but you’ll have a pretty good idea of what they are.