Raising a Super Hero Is Easier Than You Think
“Children see magic because they look for it.”
~ Christopher Moore
Has this happened to you?
You are in the morning rush of getting ready for your day while also coaxing your kids to get dressed for school. For the fifth day in a row, your seven-year-old comes out of his room in his favorite super hero costume. All of your parenting skills kick in and you wonder, “What is the best course of action here?” He looks SO cute, but there are only a few minutes to convince him to change clothes before the bus comes.
From his point of view, it will ruin his whole day if he cannot be Spiderman. Decisions, decisions….
There are different solutions to this dilemma, and you will absolutely pick the one that is right for you and your son.
No matter what decision you ended up making that morning, at the core of this Spiderman scenario is your son’s amazing imagination! Where did it come from? Is it normal? Will he be a daydreamer the rest of his life?
A Child’s Imagination And Joyful View Of The World Should Be Celebrated And Accepted. Here is Why:
We are born with full awareness. Toddlers do not monitor their thoughts. Two-three year olds have no ‘filter’ as they say, right? Their curiosity is going at full throttle. Everything is new. “What’s this? What’s that? Let me chew on that bright red dog’s toy over there.” It can be difficult for adults to remember having that exciting, innocent view of the world. Parents deserve a BIG gold star for navigating through daily life under the barrage of their toddlers’ and pre-schoolers’ questions and stories.
Little by little, because we want our children to be polite and respectful, we encourage them not to voice every thought and to pay attention to the ‘real world’. We want them to fit in and be accepted into society.
They start school: traditionally, schools have routines and necessary lesson plans they must carry out. Teachers have a knack of encouraging every individual child to share their perspective on their environment, and to understand their studies, but there are time constraints in the school day. School kids save most of their imaginary game-play for recess and home.
As a child is growing into the ‘tween years and they voice their magical thoughts, often they are told ‘it is time to grow up’, ‘stop dreaming’ and ‘be practical’. They then learn from society to start thinking about what they want to be when they grow up; their vivid imagination is gradually stifled and put away.
I recently met a young woman at a holistic health fair who is intrigued by Reiki and other healing modalities. She said to me, “I have always been interested in this and deep down I know that I am supposed to be helping people with the mind-body-spirit connection; but my father insisted I be practical, go to college and get a more socially-accepted job.” I am sure her Dad did this out of love for her and concern for her future, but she is now unhappy and looking to incorporate holistic routines into her career.
As a parent, you love your children. You want them to be safe, warm, happy and productive. Your idea of the perfect life for your child may totally differ from the child’s inner hopes and aspirations. “Safe” does not necessarily mean happy. We want HAPPY!
It May Not Seem Logical To Encourage Your Young One Who Wants To Become A Fairy Princess.
However, by fanning the embers of that magical spark inside her, you will find yourself living with a future ballet star; an artist; a playwright; an author; a mom.
The more children who are NURTURED and SUPPORTED in their hopes and dreams as they grow, the more vibrant, glowing adults there will be on the planet. No matter how quirky or impossible their ideas may sound (safety first of course!), those children will grow up knowing they will be listened to and not just dismissed. That is HUGE! Think what that does for your child’s self-esteem: to know they have an imagination mentor in the house! Self-esteem gives them the confidence to incorporate their fantasies and unique ideas into their true passion. Together, passion and confidence lead your child to finding their life purpose and living a happy, rewarding life.
Now that you are aware of the role that imagination plays in our lives, allow yourself to join in with the kids – learn from THEM.
Six Easy Tips To Bring On The Fun:
- Show your children and grandchildren that you can sip tea out of their miniature tea set when they have their parties. Don’t forget to munch on the magic little cakes!
- Read books to them and put all the emotions and different character voices into your reading. This encourages them to picture the story as it plays out. Their imaginations expand. This gets them wondering ‘What other adventures are out there?’ Let’s get more books! Select age-appropriate stories featuring kids who help each other and save the world or tales of magic and talking animals. A strong imagination leads to your child wanting to know more about the world, animals, the oceans and history.
- - For elementary school ages, pick out books you can read together on their current subject of interest: Pioneers, explorers, scientists, inventors, etc. As they get older, they will want to read on their own. You will miss the days when they cuddled in your lap listening to every word you spoke, but you can still encourage and surprise them with new library books they may not have discovered on their own.
- Become a character in their favorite story. Role-playing is a blast! Most times, I played the villain with my nieces. I loved it! There was a day when you might have seen me dressed as the Wicked Witch walking hand in hand down a country road with Dorothy, sparkly red shoes and all. It was not Halloween. I did not care that there were people driving by. It gave the drivers a laugh and gave them permission to be silly as well. Most of all, it validated my niece’s imagination. She and her sister knew I was game for anything!
- Take them to the zoo and pretend you are going on a safari. How many wild animals can you discover?
- Plan a special scavenger hunt. Write some mysterious clues and leave the first one ‘hidden’ in plain sight. Watch and enjoy as they decipher each clue and race to find the treasure you have carefully concealed. What is the best part? Sign the last clue with their favorite hero’s name. Or do not sign it at all! Let them imagine who sent them on their fabulous escapade. Yes, I did this one too!
- As your teenager and young adult is facing all the life questions that present themselves at that age, try reminding them of things they loved doing as a kid and activities that make them happy now. If they connect to that feeling as they search for their life path, choices will present themselves that may not have been on their radar before. You can help them make decisions that incorporate that gut feeling of “YES, this is perfect!
These are just a few examples of how you can help children bring forth their creativity and expand their brilliant imagination. The foundation you are helping them to create is immensely powerful. Do not underestimate its impact. These young souls will grow up knowing how to tap into their unfettered imagination, originality and resourcefulness. They will have a brighter perspective on life and the world around us. They will remember the joy of childhood and carry it throughout their lives, sharing it as they go.
What is your child going to be when he grows up? He already IS exactly who he needs to be. His soul knows why he is here. The seeds of his life’s journey have already been planted. With a fertile, nurtured imagination, those seeds will not just grow – they will THRIVE.
So, what to do about allowing your child to go to school dressed as a SUPERHERO? Is it comfortable and reasonably clean? You might want to let Spiderman get on that bus!
Each night I take a moment to gaze up at the starry sky and breathe in its wonder. Witnessing the shimmering brilliance of the stars, I begin to giggle as I find my own brilliance in their reflection.