Article from the book ‘Your Child is Your Parent!’ by Manoj J Lekhi (Amrut Vivek).
As discussed earlier, art as a form of expression is the easiest and surest way to increase your child’s imagination.
As he imagines, he visualises, and as he visualises, he expresses (i.e., paints). The moment his imagination is translated on paper, he has the scope of imagining more, expanding his vision further and expressing himself faster. The cycle thus continues, making the mind broader and sharper.
Continuous exposure to different aspects of music leads to the advancement of the right brain and, in turn, a widening of imagination.
There are various other ways of increasing imagination, one of which we discuss here and it is ‘creative story telling’.
This consist, basically, of telling your child a story (which we normally do quite often); however, the idea here is to start a story anywhere and at any given point of time, and then to just allow your thoughts to flow.
No thought is required to have any connection with the previous, they are all different links connected to the same chain.
I remember, one day, when I was lying on the terrace of my flat with Vedoci next to me, looking up at the sky; I saw an eagle and that gave rise to my ‘creative’ story, which went as follows:
One day, an eagle was flying high up in the sky and he met an old friend, a swan. The swan asked him, “Why are you flying so high?” The eagle answered, “I am feeling very disturbed by the waves of the sea; they are very furious today”. The eagle, in turn, asked the swan, “What are you doing so high up in the sky?” to which the swan answered, “I am upset too, the sea is very angry today”. Both the swan and the eagle held hands, and together started flying higher and higher. The hot sun stopped them and said, “Hey, you, don’t come close to me; fly low or I’ll eat you two up”. The friends, however, didn’t care. They told the sun, “Our friend, the moon, will protect us from your heat”. The sun and the moon then confronted each other; the sun shining brightly, the moon its usual smiling self. The clouds came to witness their meeting and along with them came the rains. The eagle and the swan flew at top speed to take shelter under a huge banyan tree …
The above story stemmed from my imagination, on the spot, without prior thinking.
Observe the transformation in you as a person when you go on satiating your child with spontaneously made up stories. Here, it’s not just your child’s right brain but your right brain, as well, that is getting activated; you become more and more spontaneous, which directly translates into you becoming more and more open to enjoying the little things in life. You learn to ‘stop and smell the roses’, so to say. Notice how your child is bringing about a subtle, joyful transformation in you.
Such a story need not have any relevance to the actual world. It need not have any logic or message; but what it must have is a lot of creativity, imagination and, most of all, a lot of expression and enthusiasm. This alone keeps the child spellbound and asking for more.
Try this tonight with your child and see the various beautiful expressions on his face. When Vedoci was small, that is, till she was 6, I used to put her to sleep this way on many occasions. She would always wait eagerly for bed time to listen to more and more such stories from me.
Additionally, you narrating only a part of the story and then asking the child to continue further will increase his imagination by leaps and bounds.