The Importance of Our Child Daydreaming
The Daydreamer I start this book, The Organised Mind by Daniel J. Levitin, a couple of days back and this stands out. Our brain has two modes - i) a daydreaming, mind-wandering state and ii) central executive state. These two states do not co-exist. When one is active, the other is not. Attention comes at a price, hence why we call it 'paying attention'. We consciously command our brain to focus or our brain deems it urgent/life-threatening enough for us to pay attention. The mind-wandering mode is our brain's default mode. 'Thoughts seem to move seamlessly from one to another, there's a merging of ideas, images and sounds, of past, present and future. Thoughts turn inwards - loosely connected, stream-of-conscious thoughts so much like the nighttime dream state that we call them daydreams.' During this period, the brain creates instantly a network of what it deems to be connecting dots. It leads to creativity and solutions to problems that first seem unsolvable. It makes me think. We definitely want our child to learn to focus so he/she has higher productivity. Has the ability to see a task from start to end. But surely we want more than a do-er. Surely we want our child to have dreams, to create and to innovate? 'In the mind-wandering mode, our thoughts are mostly directed inward to our goals, desires, feelings, plans and also our relationship with other people. The mind-wandering mode is active when people are feeling empathy toward one another.' Hence, don't be too eager to fill up every moment of our child's day with a task. Having a dream starts with having space to dream.