Parents Need Imagination to Understand Children

Take a look at this video, and I will explain why we need imagination to understand children.
Have you seen the video?
If you postponed seeing the video, saying ‘let me read the rest of the stuff first’ you lack the curiosity required to deal with children. Nor do you have the patience. You would like to follow your own rules, not withstanding what is required. You would prefer to see everything through your lens. If you are having trouble understanding children, I won’t be surprised.

If you have seen the video, ask yourself. What would you done if you were the parent of the child in that video? Why?

A child lives in his own world and it has nothing to do with our world. What he sees, says, does, and feels in that world is very different from our world. His pains and gains are different.
Have you seen “Honey, I shrunk the kids”? No, then see this little trailer of the movie. It will give you a flavour of what is required to see the world through our children’s eyes. Imagination.
For years our daughter used to talk about a ‘bath ghost’. We never figured out what it was, but we had interesting conversations about it. It took a while to do that though!
(Thought: What if institutions that train Montessori teachers, train parents to look at the world through the eyes of the kid?)
Today we have no idea how quickly the kids grow up. It requires patience and imagination to keep pace with them.
How does one develop imagination?
Play the ‘What if game’ with your kids.
“What if that dog could speak? What do you think it might say to us?” Or “What if that crow could sing, what song might it sing?”
Work with the child on small projects and ask him for advice on what to do next. Whatever he suggests, ask him why he suggested that. It is an interesting way to get insights into how the child is thinking.
Remember that the child’s mind is fresh and almost without biases. Imagine looking through a glass window that is spotlessly clean. What you see would be so different from seeing it through a glass window that has not been cleaned for several years.
I have seen families where the 10 year old son is taller than both parents. Now imagine if the boy’s mind is more mature, richer with interesting experiences, and knowledge, than those of the parents. And the parents have no clue about it. Parents who exclaim “I don’t know what he is upto, he is in his own world” don’t know what they are losing.

Re-published with permission from the blog of ParentEdge, a bi-monthly parenting magazine that aims to expose parents to global trends in learning and partner with them in the intellectual enrichment of their children. This blog was written by Sridhar Ramanathan

Sridhar Ramanathan is the Founder of IDEASRS, where he is also a Strategic Innovation Coach. Sridhar’s mission in life is “to help those who want to do things better and differently”. His work involves conducting creative problem solving workshops for clients, and buidling competencies in creativity and innovation. He also blogs at