Imagination vs. Reality

I drafted this post several months ago when Violet was just about three and a half. I still chuckle over this story…

Violet’s 3 year old imagination has been exploding lately. It’s fascinating to see her come up with all of these ideas.. only I’m realizing that with that comes a responsibility as the parent to maintain balance between what is make believe and what is real.

For example, the other day Violet decided she would plant some beans (jelly beans) in the garden to grow a giant bean stalk (a la Jack and the Beanstalk, we’ve been reading a lot of stories lately). In attempt to foster her imagination and creativity I asked her what would be at the top of the beanstalk? She firmly decided that there would not be a scary giant up there but instead there would be a princess named Ivy (a la The Princess and the Frog). Great! So I gave her the little pack of jelly beans. She ate a couple then made her way out to the back garden and threw the jelly beans down just like in the story! Pretty harmless right?

Well, a little while later Violet decided that she would be going to Dora’s house for the afternoon to attend a party. Cute right? I asked how she would get there and she told me that she planned on jumping into the tv… which she later edited and said that daddy would have to give her a great big push to get into the tv. She was pumped about the party in which she said there would be balloons (her favourite), cupcakes, presents etc. and that she would meet Dora’s mom and grandma. She proceeded to pack her backpack with her swimsuit and all sorts of things. She picked fresh flowers from a vase in our living room and put them into a gift bag and made her way down to the basement, where we have our big tv and tried to ‘jump in’. The disappointment that ensued all came to a head when she realized that ‘IT’S NOT WORKING!!!’ Oh the disappointment!  I certainly learned my lesson in leading her on too far without explaining the difference between imagination and reality.

I was sort of enjoying the innocence but it was time to explain the difference between make believe and real life and that the stories we read and see on tv are not real. Part of me didn’t want to squash that imaginary world – it was so refreshing.. but I can’t have my kid thinking she can bust into the tv either! 🙂

 

Lina

Lina

Lina Pugsley is a graduate of the Creativity and Change Leadership Program and a candidate for a Masters of Science in Creativity degree from SUNY Buffalo State. For the past 8 years, Lina has been researching and exploring ways to nurture creative skills and attitudes in children to promote creative confidence and resilience. She is passionate about supporting parents on ways to cultivate children's creativity starting in the early years.
Lina

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