Where does imagination come from? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 06-15-2003, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Just curious about this as my 2 y.o. is starting to have a vivid imagination. Every night as we lay down to bed, he runs through his day and every single thing he has done. He talks about each animal at the zoo (we go almost everyday) and what they were doing, who got timeout at daycare, what our pets were doing and what special projects we're doing; ie. today he made a cake for daddy.
He flies his little beany Eagle overhead and plays w/it outside. If Eagle unwisely goes swimming, then ds dries him off and tells me he needs a boobie b/c he's sad.

My friends' kids watch lots and lots of TV and all of their play is about commercial heroes, etc. Her 2 y.o. is obsessed w/Superman and wears a cape nonstop.

So, what is imagination? Does it make any difference if it's based on physical experience or TV, etc? Should my kid be talking about superheroes instead of "mommy turkey ate a bug!"

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#2 of 3 Old 06-15-2003, 08:19 PM
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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.
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#3 of 3 Old 06-16-2003, 04:43 AM
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Originally posted by geekmom

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.
Do you believe this is also true of children who read or are read to from books?

My daughter has always created tremendously involved fantasy games inspired by TV shows, and movies, and books, and musicals, and plays, and a game she and her friend played one day, and a tree she saw, and just about anything. My opinion is that kids who have the gift of free time tend to develop their imaginations more than kids who spend more time in structured settings.


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