THE BLOG

Does Your Child Have Enough Time to Daydream?

10/08/2015 11:54 BST | Updated 05/08/2016 10:59 BST

2015-08-05-1438777360-627556-Lilywww.drniamh.co.ukArtbyGretchenDelRio.jpg

Children's timetables seem filled with social events, after-school events, and extra-curricular activity of all descriptions. Weekend diaries bursting at the seams with birthday parties and trips here, there, and everywhere. Surely this shows that we are doing all we can to give our children every opportunity to expand their confidence and social skills? But does such a full schedule come at a cost, and does it allow for enough downtime when a child might veg-out, daydream, and release the imagination to roam free?

Daydreaming is much more important than we realise. It is nature's way of allowing the psyche to catch up with itself.

If we are always in a state of 'doing' rather than simply 'being,' we are constantly receiving a plethora of impressions and information ~ all of which needs processing. By processing, I mean having psychological time to assimilate and absorb all that is coming at us, including facts and information. If we do not have time to internalise information, we never properly learn whatever it is we are trying to learn. That particular knowledge does not become part of our own. We can only regurgitate it for as long as current memory will allow. Learning needs internalisation and connecting to something within us if we are to properly assimilate it and make it part of our tacit landscape.

Just as importantly, we need to assimilate emotional reactions. We all react emotionally to the things that come at us, whether we know it or not. We all need time to be in touch with feelings, to learn how to name them. So many adults, let alone children, do not know how to identify their feelings. Identifying feelings is not something that we automatically learn; it is a skill we develop, like any other. Learning how to feel is the first step towards nurturing the growth of emotional intelligence ~ the other half of our human development and every bit as important as the ability to absorb fact or develop logic. We need to nurture both sides of the brain, both sides of consciousness. Yet, developing emotional intelligence is mostly overlooked within the school system and rarely given value within busy life schedules. Our child's emotions will suddenly trip us up, however, and interrupt our busy schedules when s/he throws a tantrum or starts behaving in ways we don't understand. Often, this happens because the child has simply not had time to absorb life's increasing complexities, demands, and information overload.

In short, daydreaming enables us to have recourse to the inner self and is a natural form of meditation. Daydreaming is extremely important for children as well as adults. Daydreaming literally calms down the psyche and helps it to file information and assimilate what it is feeling and learning.

The psyche needs daydream time to realise its full and wonderful potential.