Young children take life literally. They view all situations as “good” or “bad.” Water is either “hot” or “cold.” Young children do not assign “degrees” to any situation, and in the young child’s world, everything is real. The three-year-old has absolutely no doubt that Sponge Bob or Dora the Explorer really exists. These characters are just as “real” to the child as Mommy and Daddy. Santa can circle the globe and visit every child on the planet in a single night and the Easter Bunny can deliver baskets of colored eggs just like Daddy can make the car go and Mommy can make food magically appear. 

In my opinion, make-believe is not only healthy, it is essential. Make believe helps a child to make sense of the world around him. He assigns his perceptions of a person, place, or thing with the help of make-believe.

There are those who advocate removing all make-believe from childhood. These experts tell us that make believe causes children to delay their perception of their reality. Shame on them! Too much “reality” isn’t good for adults much less little kids.

Grown-ups attend movies and plays and get caught up in the action on the screen or on the stage. Just for a moment, they believe what they are seeing and hearing. Adults, of course, can separate fact from fiction and fantasy from reality. Kids will learn to make those distinctions as they grow older. Meanwhile, that fantasy is helping them learn how to deal with life in a safe and nonthreatening way.

As long as the make-believe is healthy and doesn’t desensitize the child (make killing seem good and evil seem desirable), I see no harm in make-believe.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones.  Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

Children are born with some measure of creativity. I believe that. Like all human ability, of course, some children are more creative than others, but creativity at some level is innate.

Young children have mental images of their perception of the world long before they have the linguistic skill to voice those images. The adults in the child’s world need to provide the child with the opportunity to communicate those metal images using a wide range of ways other than the spoken or written word; gestures, drawings, paintings, sculpture, construction, music, make-believe play, movement, and dance.

There are three basic ways in which parents can help their children to develop their innate creativity: experience, tools, and encouragement.

Experience: Children need to be exposed to a wide range of creative media, including art, dance, acting, sculpturing, etc. The more children see the results of the creativity of others, the more their own creativity is fostered.

Television is a good medium, and I’m certainly not objecting to all television programming for children; but parents need to be selective about their young children’s television viewing. Television programming for children needs to help children see the results of creativity and encourage children to be creative themselves.

Tools: If you put some Silly Putty in the hands of a five-year-old, you’ll be surprised at what he creates. If you give children the tools that they need to express themselves creatively, they WILL use those tools. They will dance to music. They will cut and paste with abandon. Kids need tools to be creative. Every home in which there are children should have a place where kids can create with abandon.

Encouragement: When children see their parents engaging in creative pursuits, they will imitate them. If the parents do nothing more creative than change channels on the TV, the kids aren’t being encouraged to be creative themselves. Children are encouraged by example and not by words.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones.  Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.