We all had that friend growing up who couldn’t seem to sit still. No matter what the teacher said, their parents threatened or friends demanded, they would much rather be jumping around, pretending to be an animal, pirate or some miscellaneous sports star. It’s not because they were bad, they were just off in their own world, with their own rules. Their greatest play toy was their mind; their imagination.
The switch that most kids have to turn their imagination on and off is distinct in most cases. When the story book was closed, logic and reason was turned back on. But for a lot of kids, the ability to phase seamlessly back into reality is something they lack. An overactive imagination is when the ideas that bounce around in our heads begin to bleed into actual vision. Some consider it dangerous. Is having an active imagination a bad thing?
In my house growing up, having an overactive imagination was considered a gift. When I was a kid, telling my parents about the stuff I was thinking was often entertainment for them. The feedback I got from all my crazy ideas influenced me to be more creative. I sought out more ways to get my thoughts out. The support my parents gave me to continuously find a creative outlet allowed me to explore different forms of art.
It was when the pencil crayons turned to pens, and the dinosaur drawings evolved into writing stories, that I felt fulfilled. Writing was where anything that I thought of could become physical. Instead of sitting in class, completely tuning out, I would write down what I was thinking. It was like turning on the faucet of my mind. My imagination led me to finding what I passionate about. Sure, I may daydream in class, but at least I have an idea of what makes me happy.
Coming from a household where having an imagination was so encouraged, it’s difficult for me to watch children nowadays grow up being numb to the childish behavior my peers and I were allowed to participate in.
Children aren’t allowed to be children anymore, because they have to grow up so fast. Childhood was a time to ask questions and explore what it means to be young.
Imagination is now a label for kids who are restricted by the uniform model of what society expects from youth. Imagination is not a hindrance, it is a vital part of self-discovery.