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Dear parents: Good reasons to let your kids' imagination run free

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sun, December 9, 2018  /  09:01 am
Dear parents: Good reasons to let your kids' imagination run free

A study at Case Western Reserve University, the United States, found that children with more imagination are better at problem-solving. (Shutterstock/File)

Some parents might think that fantasizing is a waste of time for their children. It seems that children will be better off doing some sorts of activities rather than letting their own imagination run wild. 

As a matter of fact, this is not always the case. 

University of California scientists stated that we spend 30 percent of our lives fantasizing or daydreaming. This number rises to 70 percent while on long trips. It is also said that those who like to fantasize will be more creative and adept in solving problems and avoiding stress. 

According to an expert in education, creativity and innovation from the United Kingdom, Ken Robinson, fantasy is the key to creativity and the ability to innovate. It also helps children learn better.

As Kompas.com quoted from the Education and Culture Ministry’s Family Friends forum, here are four good reasons why you should let your kids’ imagination run wild:

1. Expand vocabulary 

Children tend to imitate words commonly spoken by adults, either directly or through the media. Supported by good imagination, children can quickly gather a lot of vocabulary. It helps them express what they feel in detail using the appropriate words. 

Read also: 5 educational and artsy activities for kids

2. Solve problems

A study at Case Western Reserve University, the United States, found that children with more imagination were better at problem-solving. 

Children’s fantasies tend to imitate adults’, letting them memorize the things adults do when facing problems. They will then apply what they memorize and fantasize about in solving their own problems.

3. Increase creativity

According to expert Eugene Schwartz, children full of imagination will grow into creative individuals because using imagination develops children's creativity. As in the case of Harry Potter series author JK Rowling, she claimed her story ideas came from fantasy.

4. Becoming more empathetic and open

Fantasizing tends to make us put ourselves in others’ shoes. It increases the level of empathy and our way of thinking about a situation. 

Usually, children are easily touched by the conditions they imagine. As explained by Carolyn Saarni, a counseling professor at Sonoma State University, the United States, they use fantasy to practice a skill and show feelings or behaviors that might be unacceptable at other times. (iru/kes)