A Child’s World Of Fantasy
Published Date : 1st January 2016
Why do children perpetually live in a world of their own making - a world that is both fantastic and unreal? Why do they constantly create imaginary universes with their own set of characters and societal rules?
For years, psychologists have been trying to understand this tendency but have failed to give one definite reason for it. There have been not one but many and varied explanations with the result that some say fantasy is bad and some say that it's good. There has been no consensus on the true reason or reasons. No research has proven that imagination and fantasy are therapeutic for children just as no research has shown that they are bad for them.
Children begin dreaming sometime in the first year of their life. Young children have a limited ability to distinguish dreams from reality or fantasy until they approach school age. Through childhood and adolescence, children's dreams tend to reflect representations of typical developmental issues, wish fulfilment themes, and environmental stimuli.
Unlike adults, children don't use fantasy and dreaming to escape from the realities and pressures of their lives. They lead more or less sheltered lives and thus have practically no reason to escape. Happy and secure children are just as likely to be immersed in a dream world, as children with an unhappy home or school life. So, what could the reasons for this habit be? One explanation could be that children by nature are designed to learn, and since they lead sheltered lives, they are desperate to understand the outside world. They construct their own theories to explain a particular situation or occurrence and like adults, they continue revising these theories as new parameters are added. It is all a part of the learning process. Without imagination and daydreaming, there wouldn't have been any scientific development and we would still be living in the Stone Age.
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