Monday, December 17, 2012

When imagination develops!

Babies are not born with fully developed powers of imagination. In the infant and early toddler stages, their understanding of the world is based-solely on direct interaction with the people and things around them. Then, usually at about 18 months, a child develops the ability to form mental images and, as her vocabulary expands, to give these images names. Now that she is able to like her knowledge to symbols – to create and name a mental image of a boat and how it works, for example – the child begins to combine objects and ideas in creative ways. She uses one object represent another: A bar of soap floating in the bath becomes a boat crossing a pond. Emotions, too, come into play. The child imagines a doll as a new baby to be fed and loved.

 Fantasy becomes the child’s tool for exploring the adult world and, by trail and error, for finding a place in that world. The child is constantly seeking ways to assimilate new experiences into her picture of reality. Confused by the differences between male and female, a little girl may announce that she is a boy and try to sample life from that perspective. Troubled by feelings of anger or aggression, a boy may shout “Bang! Bang!” and lure his father into a make believe fight. Imagination also provides the opportunity to fulfill a wish, to be in control or just to hold onto good feelings for a while longer.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Nightterror Part.II

All you can really do for night terrors is making sure that the child does not hurt herself. Remove toys from the floor around her bed so that she does not trip if she sleepwalks. Do not try to wake the child up. That will usually just agitate her more and prolong the episode. If she wants to be held or comforted, then do so, but do not force your help on her. After a brief period, she will simply settle back to sleep.

 Children of any may enjoy an elaborate fantasy life as a normal and healthy part their development, but fantasy plays a particularly vital role in the years between two and five. Almost any exercise in imagination – whether it is pretend play, humor, an imaginary friend, a tall tale or even an outright lie-may, at bottom, be part of the child’s effort to understand the world and learn how to behave. Remember that there is a big difference in the way you see reality and the way a young child sees it: Toddlers and preschoolers are still learning to distinguish between what is real and what they have imagined.

 Most of your child’s fantasies will be make – believe games. The child feeds a toy bears with an empty spoon or dresses up and marches of “to work”. But you may also see pretend behavior that it disturbingly aggressive. What do you do when your child spins out yarns about murdering the new baby? And you will definitely see behavior that, while not disturbing, is perplexing and demands a response. How should you react when your little girl keeps shooting your with a banana? Should you be concerned when your little boy prefers to dress up like Mama or jokes endlessly about “poo-poo”? Strange as it may seem, any of this behavior may be part of your child’s learning process.