I’m reading a fascinating book at the moment by Kate Adams called ‘Unseen Worlds. Looking Through The Lens of Childhood’.
It explores ‘how children perceive, experience and make sense of their inner worlds’. Worlds that the children experience of fantasy and play, imaginary mates, even visits from deceased loved ones, fearful monsters and turbulent dreams.
As adults, in order to perhaps reassure our children, Kate suggests that we can sometimes too readily dismiss these worlds referring only to them as ‘imaginary’. But for children they are very ‘real’ and something which they have to grow to understand as they try and find a place in the adult world. The book suggests that parents, teachers and other practitioners involved with children would perhaps understand them better if we were more sensitive to these inner worlds and she gives tips on how to do so.
It’s a fascinating read. I only wish that I’d read it when mine were small and were involved with, not only their fantasy play worlds, but also experiences which were sometimes difficult to rationally explain. I did exactly what Kate says we do and was too freaked out to allow the children to properly tell me about them, instead offering calm and comfort. Had I read this book then I perhaps would have understood my children a little better!