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A world of illusion for our children?!?!?!

sorry if anyone has seen this on the hot topic forum but since this forum is popular I thought i'd put it here too! Does anyone else think that we are creating a world of illusion for our children? I can see the appeal of cartoon characters for example but the fantasy world can never be visited or made real. I understand the value of playing and imagination but that is coming FROM the child. is it right for us to feed illusion to the child? If we encourage our children to watch wildlife shows (for example) then as parents we can show the real thing by a visit to the zoo - children usually love animals (which do not talk or wear clothes incidentally!).


  • this was one of my exam questions the other day, which is cool! I think fantasy is a life saver to some children who might otherwise be totally unable to cope with the lives they have to live. But also see children who use this too much and are unable to connect to reality x
  • balance is the key to everything we give our children and old saying is everything in moderation. fantasy has its place just the same as reality after all we all fanasise everynight when we dream!! its our responsibility to teach the difference betwwen fantasy and reality .
  • yes I agree with both of you. A childs subjective experience of fantasy is ok if it is generated from their own concious/unconciousness, but when I look at the activities etc available for children in shops, there is very little 'reality' that is readily available to input into our children. also, children are eventually told to reject their 'fantasy' world when they reach a certain age, so why do we make such things as 'talking, clothes wearing animals' etc acceptable at a younger age - is this confusing? I have not really considered such things before, it was triggered when I was looking for suitable decoration for the nursery! But I think the real beneficiaries of the illusion are the adults....perhaps our own escapism being experienced through the lives of our children....?
  • how is it confusing????

    children of a very young age haven't even developed the appropriate neural networks in their brains to get confused!!

  • I think it's all a question of balance. There is nothing wrong with fantasy as long as they realise what is and is not the 'real world'. Sometimes fantasy is a strategy we use to escape things we can't cope with and I think this is also important to remember.
  • Does it depend on what sort of fantasy world we are introducing? I think toy guns are a bit different from dressed up rabbits. Also what about children that don't naturally have a good imagination? Isn't childhood reduced down enough these day? I was playing with dolls still in my early teens, but unfortunately i can't see my daughter doing that!
  • Hi Jojo, I think there are probably different types of fantasy. Replica makes more sense in relation to the real world. playing with lifelike dolls is very intellectually stimulating for introducing children to caring skills, dressing etc (although I think Barbie is a bad role model!) I think there is useful stuff around, definitely. in response to your other point, even with all of the stimulation around, some children still do not have a good imagination naturally, but that does not stop them from developing in other ways. Toby2000 I agree with you about the benefits of fantasy, but I think it should come from the children not put into them...that is someone else's fantasy...
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