the innocent lies and imagination of children
The kindergarten my daughter attends to offers a one-on-one meeting between the classroom teacher and the parents once every semester. As a semi-annual ritual, I visited the kindergarten to have a meeting with my daughter’s teacher last week.
The teacher explained to me how my daughter is doing in the kindergarten including she is active during the class, she gets along with her classmates, she loves singing and ballet, etc. During the meeting, one particular point the teacher mentioned captured my attention.
She told me that my daughter says unrealistic episodes from time to time. For example, when my daughter comes to the Kindergarten in the morning, she sometimes says that she has met some animals such as a lion while coming to the kindergarten. When the teacher hears a comment like this, she asks my daughter if my daughter is surprised or scared when she met the lion. My daughter answers that she is not scared at all. When encouraged to explain more, my daughter adds more detailed description of the animal she met (?) such as the size and the behavior of the animal. The teacher told me that my daughter seemed very serious & excited and she did not seem to make up a story or lie. My daughter told these stories with wide-open eyes and full of excitement.
Obviously, what my daughter is saying is not a fact. I think it is purely based on her imagination. I am grateful to the teacher for listening to and encouraging my daughter’s imagination rather than ignoring her stories. I also want to encourage her imagination like her teacher. This episode of my daughter reminds me of “Anne of Green Gables”.
There is another episode of my daughter’s innocent (?) lies & imagination. When she is playing with her close friend(s) or focusing on something, she sometimes forgets to say “I want to pee” and wets her pants. This incident still happens once every two weeks on average. When she realizes that she has peed herself or when I ask her what has happened, she looks at me and says, “I did not do it. A rabbit did.” The animal which wets her pants changes to a squirrel or a fox sometimes. What she says is a cute lie based on an imagination to me. It is so cute and I don’t want to scold or blame her for her mistake. I try to view it from a positive perspective. It may mean that she can focus on something so deeply that she cannot even think about other things such as going to washroom. So, I simply tells my daughter, “OK, is it a rabbit again? Please tell the rabbit not to pee on your pants next time”. She says she will tell the rabbit.
Children’s imagination is limitless. Their imagination is very creative and it makes us spellbound and/or laugh a lot of times. When they grow up, their imagination will be a valuable asset for them. Hope we can encourage our children’s imagination as much as we can because the imagination is the key element of intelligence as Einstein once mentioned.