Studies show imagination help children with creativity, understanding social aspects better, and acknowledging different perspectives.
Ever notice every visit to the park is a brand new adventure? That’s because of your child’s imagination. Imagination works out your child’s cognitive development in the brain, which helps them process information and act upon it.
Having imaginary friends and believing in the Tooth Fairy is completely normal and should be looked at in a positive light by parents. Imagination helps your young ones to be, “more creative, have greater social understanding and are better at taking the perspective of others,” says Marjorie Taylor, a University of Oregon psychology professor.
Dr. Taylor says many children cope with stress by having imaginary friends. ”This is a strength of children, their ability to pretend,” she says. “They can fix the problem with their imagination.”
If your preschooler is enthusiastic about the Tooth Fairy, parents should comfort the idea. If characters such as these are not prominent in the house, make sure your child’s imagination is encouraged elsewhere, such as the playground or by playing dress-up.
The time will come when children ask if Santa Claus or other characters are real. Before breaking the news, check and see if your child is ready. Ask your child,,“ what do you think?” or, “ did you see something that makes you think otherwise?” If they have evidence that shows they are distinguishing what is possible and impossible, then they may be ready for the truth. Children will figure it out on their own, as they grow older and their cognitive development matures, so don’t stress on breaking the news if you aren’t ready.