Stress Less Parenting

Bringing the joy back to parenting your children.

Encourage the imagination

on June 17, 2012

Encourage the imagination

Stories are opportunities for great learning, especially those in which the child listens and must use their imagination to see the characters and situations in their mind. Imagination is one of the most powerful tools that we humans have in helping to create what we want in our lives.

Studies of brain wave patterns have brought to light the ease of programming the subconscious mind. One of the initial studies was to determine if the mind can distinguish fantasy from reality – if it accepts as programming what is real or if it also accepts what isn’t.

In this test, subjects were placed in a room and wired to an EEG machine. The researchers then created several situations to see what affect the event had on the brain-wave patterns of the subjects.

For example, someone ran into the test subject’s room and performed a dance, a dog barked, or a color was created on a screen. As each situation occurred, the test subject’s brain was monitored and marked as to which situation created each brain-wave pattern. The next step was to have the subject mentally recreate the situations, imagining them as they were described by the researchers. For example, the researcher might say, “I now want you to imagine you are watching a woman doing a dance. See it in your mind, fantasize it, conceive it with as much imagination as possible. OK, now imagine you hear a dog barking.”

While the subject was concentrating on the imagined situation, his brain wave patterns were again being recorded. The test results showed that exactly the same brainwave patterns were evident when the subject actually experienced the situation as when the subject only imagined it. The brain waves were identical, so the computer part of the brain was obviously incapable of telling the real from the imagined.

Using this knowledge

So, our imagination is a powerful tool. The more we use our imagination, the better it performs, and the stronger it gets. The more we can perceive these fantasy stories in our minds, the better we get at creating mental images. The part of our brain that can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality actually can assist us in coping, performing, and dealing with life and what we want out of it.

If we can see ourselves being successful at a task, having higher self-esteem, more confidence, performing better in sports, etc., we will. In order to program this part of our consciousness to work for us, we must first see ourselves performing successfully in our minds. All of this starts with using a good, active, well-exercised imagination. Then, as parents we can encourage our children to actively see themselves performing well in their studies, sports or activities. We can encourage them to be proud of themselves and seeing themselves as being strong, healthy and balanced individuals. These are all tools that can help our children cope in a way that helps them achieve their best life possible.


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