Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Is Daydreaming in Your Child's Schedule?

Nice article from the Boston Globe, on daydreaming and creativity, that may be a bit of a wake-up call to those raised on TV (with my emphases, bold):

Teresa Belton, a research associate at East Anglia University in England, first got interested in daydreaming while reading a collection of stories written by children in elementary school. Although Belton encouraged the students to write about whatever they wanted, she was startled by just how uninspired most of the stories were.

"The tales tended to be very tedious and unimaginative," Belton says, "as if the children were stuck with this very restricted way of thinking. Even when they were encouraged to think creatively, they didn't really know how."

After monitoring the daily schedule of the children for several months, Belton came to the conclusion that their lack of imagination was, at least in part, caused by the absence of "empty time," or periods without any activity or sensory stimulation.

Sounds creepy, but it gets worse...

She noticed that as soon as these children got even a little bit bored, they simply turned on the television: the moving images kept their minds occupied. "It was a very automatic reaction," she says. "Television was what they did when they didn't know what else to do."

hh! Don't let this happen to your kids! Encourage daydreaming and lose the TV! Go outside! Camp, hike, climb, breathe, dream...and let the kids daydream, too. It's not a waste of time; it's part of a creative life.

Read the whole article here.

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