Not that you can’t daydream anywhere.
It’s one of those easy-to-pack, take anywhere hobbies.
But it isn’t always the most respected. Take a few moments to gaze out a window, allowing yourself to be transported to another world, and someone will snap you back to the present. With a
“Get your head out of the clouds,”
or a gentler
“Would you care to join us?”
or my favorite,
“Earth to Dana. Come in Dana.”
you are called back. And it’s always with a little jab, suggesting that this here is what is important and the flights of fancy off to “la la land” need to be controlled. For all our talk of embracing our inner muse, finding our creativity, thinking outside the box, reaching for our dreams and finding our inspiration, we really don’t respect the source of all this creative energy. Because we don’t respect daydreaming.
But this is where creativity is born. Where problems are worked through. Where self awareness is discovered. Where the brain finds rest.
When I see my children lying on the hill, staring at the clouds as they pass overhead, I have been known to set aside my plans at least for a little while. History can be taught any time during the day, but these moments come when they come. Since I first began homeschooling, I have sought to build a reflective homeschool, a place built on reflective learning. It only makes sense that I would encourage my children to reflect. And not interrupt when those reflections . . . those daydreams . . . come.
Daydreaming has been found to be anything but counter-productive. It may just be the hidden wellspring of creativity and learning in the guise of idleness.
~Jessica Lahey, The Atlantic
Perhaps being a bit of a dreamer myself, I knew the value of these flighs of fancy intuitively. Perhaps I just empathized with my children and wished to allow them a bit of freedom that was all too often interrupted for me. But science, also, has discovered the value of the daydream. It promotes creativity, improves memory, alleviates stress, and improves mental health.
And the more we fill our days with structured learning and structured downtime through television and other media, I worry about the effects of not allowing the mind to simply wander from thought to thought and world to world.
Children are trained to think linearly instead of imaginatively; they are taught to read slowly and carefully, and are discouraged from daydreaming. They are trained to reduce the use and capacity of their brain.