Pre-schoolers’ feelings control their thinking. A wish feels real; and is assumed to be real. Not so. Intelligence is based on reality not wishes.
Wishing is fun, but also means being in a tunnel and not seeing all there is or could be. That can mean as the above cartoon suggests not understanding enough to choose the career that will work for you. But it also is a form of tunnel vision and tunnel vision limits options.
The ad people of today are playing up children’s wisdom, but children only seem wiser than adults, particular when script writers put words in their mouths. And yes, children do sometimes seem wiser than wise. Most parents have moments when a child makes them stop and marvel at something poetic the child says.
Reality check: Young children do have poetic moments, but thinking that makes great thinkers could get them killed. Why we make our small children hold our hands crossing the street or in parking lots and discourage playing with matches.
All humans start their lives caught in tunnel vision. As we age hopefully we see wider vistas. However, Thomas Phenlon, a parenting guru I admire, notes that one of the biggest ways parents harm children is by treating them like miniature adults. That means thinking children are critical thinkers. Not true, critical thinking, what some call intelligent thinking develops as children age.
Here is some good news for all. Intelligence is limited by our genes. Not a politically correct notion, but wishing won’t change that we are not all equally endowed with intelligence. Part of intelligence is Emotional Intelligence meaning thinking about what your feelings are suggesting and knowing when to act on those suggestions and when not to.
The good news? Emotional Intelligence is learned, not gifted and can always be improved.
More good news: Studies show that Emotional Intelligence is more important in living the good life than intelligence in general and is more important than money, education or social class in getting ahead.
Pre-school aged children cannot think beyond the feeling of the moment; school aged child cannot think beyond what can be seen, heard, or touched; starting with the preteens, teens and adults become more and more able to think broadly and to see many options, an essential when it comes to solving many of life’s problems. The ability to think about what might allows you to experiment and think about many possibilities, not just one or two.
Parenting tip one: Stay aware of age and stage.
Parenting tip two: Do not worry about a pre-preschooler’s fantasies; at the same time, point out the make-believe stuff. Label play and make-believe as pretending or imaging. Do so in a calm matter of fact way.
Parenting tip three: Keep the fun in fantasy. Saying “It is fun to believe in make-believe” when hanging up the Christmas stockings will not in any way diminish the child’s pleasure, but does pave the way for when s/he begins to understand what is real and what is not.
Parenting tip four: Allow as much choice as possible, but label choices “You have two choices” works well when you can let the child pick one or the other. A good choice? Note, “A wise choice.” Not so good a choice label it”Not the best choice.” Also hold to safety and other major rules as “Not a choice.”
Parenting tip five: Once the child stops believing in the Santa Claus or similar myths, start asking as you movies or media together “What’s real about that?” or “What’s fantasy about that?”
Parenting tip six: As the preteen or teens are entered continue the discussions suggested above, but go deeper. When easy way to encourage deeper thought is to say “And” when the child or teen seems to have reached a limit in his thoughts.
Also, see this post on sneaky hypnotism for other ideas.
iMPROVE YOUR CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS
I do lots of puzzles to improve mine – I enjoy them. But having fun is not enough to keeping my critical thinking abilities improving. The experts say, such puzzles only improve you thinking skills if they are challenging, so push yourself. I always do those that are above my level and cheat by getting help from the answers, only I do not call it cheating, but learning.
Another way I work on this one, is by visiting Word Press’ Daily Prompt and thinking about how the prompt applies to what I am posting
How does this post relates to this Word Press Daily Post Prompt: First Light – Remember when you wrote down the first thought you had this morning? Great. Now write a post about it.
The first thing I wrote this morning was on Facebook, trying to find out why my friends had not liked my first effort to put my 12 Emotional Fitness Exercises in a video format. Only three had liked it. So I reposted the video and wrote “Only three of you liked my first video effort. Hoping some will tell me what you did not like, so I can improve it.”
Last time I checked I was getting lots more likes. I had hoped people had just not seen the post; they do slip by. However, I would also be happy to see some criticism.
Do you see how this opened my mind to other possibilities?
All the handouts and poster coaches used in a blog post are being posted at the store so you can download them for free. As I am a Jill of All and have family life, some things take longer than others to get posted. If a poster isn’t up yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises.
Following my Emotional Fitness Training blog provides support and provides information about human development, mental distress and illness, counseling, and therapy.
LINKS OF INTEREST
- The Deconstruction of Reality (Transparencynow.com)
- Winning the Gotcha Wars (wikihow.com)
- Age and Stage Information (healthychild.org)
- When Good Kids Do Bad Things (amazon.org)
- Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
Please rate this material. Doing so helps me. This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful; One star – Reinforced my knowledge – Two Stars; New information – Three stars; New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.
Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.