Daydreaming children: how to help them?

Teachers are often irritated by daydreaming children. As for their parents, it remains a great mystery and a permanent preoccupation. How to deal with this strange behaviour?

What causes a child to be “absent”, “somewhere else” or to “daydream”?

The child that lives in his own world appears to have found a refuge and, as seen from the parents’ point of view, in his ingenuous way, he allows himself unilaterally to opt out of reality and its obligations: school, family meals, and even sometimes invited friends.

This avoidance strategy is not necessarily “against” others. It comes from the need to think independently, to live in an imaginary world, uplifted by one’s own stories rather than being grounded by reality.

Not an easy situation for parents: this behaviour often predicts a great capacity for creativity. Why break it? But, at the same time it is a real social handicap. How can we help them to be “part of the game”, to listen, to participate.

There is no ready solution, I just have a few suggestions…

  • Try to find a new approach with your child.
  • Teach him not to allow his mind to wander.
  • Show him the “here and now”: you do this here, now, we concentrate together. It is very difficult at the beginning, but it may be a path to follow.

Also encourage him to create his own tricks to help him keep his feet on the ground, to stick to reality.

  • “A soon as you feel your mind wandering, try to ask yourself: “What colours is the teacher wearing? What exactly has she just said?”

But here lies the whole problem: it is difficult to detect the magical and fascinating (but not at all pleasant) moment when they switch off.

In any case, they need our help!

Because a daydreaming child finishes up by having to be brought back to reality by impatient adults, he then he feels like a passenger caught without a ticket, he feels guilty, not aware of what is happening around him. He is totally stressed. It is therefore important that this situation should be addressed. (Your experiences and comments on this subject are welcome).

Also to read: the question of precocity

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