Remember when you were 5 years old and you thought that maybe people could fly? When you firmly believed in fairies, unicorns, gnomes ... and you looked for all these fantastic beings in the forest? When were you nervously waiting for the arrival of the Tooth Fairy?
There is a type of thinking, typical of children aged 2-7 years, that he is capable of mixing reality and fantasy until his limits are blurred. It is the so-called magical thinking. Tand we explain what the magical thinking of children is and how to react to this stage of our children.
If in your childhood you lived a stage in which you were able to see real ghosts around your bed or the trips in the car turned into adventures because you thought you saw the mountains as huge waves that came towards you ... If you saw the light of a fairy playing among the flowers in the garden, do not worry, it is something very normal. It is about magical thinking.
There is a stage, between 2 and 7 years, in which the child's brain is unable to separate fact from fiction. The fantasy is real. They strongly believe in what they see, even if what they see is winged horses or human-like butterflies. Hence that stage of the imaginary friend in which they talk and converse with him as if they were seeing him ... they see him! For them that friend is real. It is the thought that explains why they believe in the Pérez Mouse, The Three Wise Men or Santa Claus.
This magical thinking, however, also makes them see things that we are not able to appreciate. Therefore, many times we are amazed at their answers to such complicated questions as how big will the universe be?
This type of thinking is very important at this stage, since it is the way in which children seek explanations of the world, so big, unknown and strange that surrounds them.
During the magical thinking stage, children observe the world by looking at small details, not the whole. While we adults observe things globally, they focus on concrete things. This type of thinking has these characteristics:
- It focuses on the concrete. For this reason, a part can have the characteristics of the 'whole' to which it belongs.
- They give more importance to the 'continent', to the appearance. Therefore, a man disguised in a monster mask will always be a monster to them.
- They are guided by idea-emotion association. For example, when they receive a gift the day after seeing a shooting star ... 'oh, it's a gift because I made a wish on the star.'
- The word impossible does not exist for them. Everything can be done. Why can't the Three Wise Men distribute toys to all the children in the world in one night? Sure they can!
- Everything they think can be done. Wishes can be fulfilled.
This type of thinking is normal, and we should never reproach them for thinking this way. It is a natural maturation process. However, in some cases we can help you. For example:
- When we see that your world creates too many monsters that frighten you, try to show that nothing is going to happen to you.
- When your child insists that he can do things that can put him in danger, help him understand that we cannot always do everything (for example, fly).
- Trying not to see movies that can cause fear and fear.
Magical thinking it makes them more creative, increases their imagination and enhances their intuition. It helps them create their own ideas and cope with their emotions. It has many benefits and we must respect this evolutionary process.
From the age of 8-10, however, children begin to reason. The line between fantasy and reality begins to be drawn strongly.
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