In my real life I get to work with tiny people. I get to play with them and read to them and I’m so honored that their parents let me share some time with them. I LOVE my job. I love my kids. My hope is that what I am doing will help “my kids” succeed when they are a little older and they go to school.
Unfortunately, there may be a lot of children who don’t get to play with their Mom’s or Dad’s or friends like me! Some tiny tots might be more used to things like watching television. Now I don’t have any evidence that watching television is bad for toddlers, but I just read over at Psychology Today that there might be a problem with not allowing toddlers to use their own imaginations. They don’t need to develop their own imaginations when producers or directors on TV are entertaining them constantly.
Beyond the worry about toddlers being exposed to too much “family entertainment” there is another worry about kids not getting the time to act like children. While it would be nice if all children responded immediately to their caregivers directions that kind of instant positive response from toddlers doesn’t seem to offer them much in the way of opportunity to think on their own.
I think it’s a fascinating subject but them I’m really into seeing little kids love learning!
Here is a bit of the article:
There’s actually a substantial amount of research connecting daydreaming in children with creativity, healthy social adjustment, and good school performance. A recent New Zealand study has found that imaginary friends benefit children’s language skills and may also boost their performance at school. There’s also research that says that children who don’t get enough down time to daydream or who fill in their down time with too much television produce works that are “tedious and unimaginative.”
This ties in with what psychologists Jerome and Dorothy Singer have found in their extensive study of the topic of children and daydreaming–that daydreaming and the acting out of these daydreams in make-believe games serve an important information-processing function. Children are trying to understand complex emotions and events for which they don’t have the life experiences, so they fill in the gaps by making up stories that parallel real situations, which to me seems nothing short of brilliant.
Kids are brilliant! Make sure you let them daydream and play!