Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Western Massachusetts
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The way I see it is imagination is the ability to see more than what's in front of you. It doesn't matter a bit what a person is imagining about. My feeling is that it's so important for living a fulfilling life because it's all about seeing a future for yourself and beign able to problem sovle with answers that aren't right in front of you.
Kids who watch TV often pick up the TV storylines and therefore don't use their own imaginations unless their parents really work with them and interact. Kids without TV will not have as many suggestions of possibilities perhaps, but you can always give those to your child as he gets older. Anytime I'm out and my son asks, "why is that truck carrying tires" or whatever I ask him what do you think? and he'll tell me a story about the truck.
The interesting thing is that kids will find ways to tell you about the themes they're interested in no matter what their input. For example, superheroes are about feeling powerful and capable. Perhaps your son talks about animals in that way? They will always tell you what stage of emotnional work they're doing in an imaginative way. Parents that stop any emotional or "fantasty" talk can make their kids stop workign with their emotions.