We recently had academic testing done on our daughter.
Our family has moved around bunch and, as a result, we’re trying to tease apart what could be a learning challenge versus what’s a gap in her education.
Could this be ADHD? one asked.
Definitely not, another said. She has a fantastic ability to focus.
She really does, another added. She’s great at maintaining focus.
In the moment all I thought about was how eliminating anything sounded great (We know it’s not XX. Let’s look at other possibilities).
Later that night, however, as I watched her struggle with homework yet do so without distraction I reflected on the conversation.
When did the ability to focus become a celebrated skill?
When did we cease encouraging kids–at appropriate times–to detach, relax and zone out?
A lost art which, although it may not initially appear it on the surface, is crucial to life success.
fantastic daydreaming backdrop.
Daydreaming provides the same benefits as allowing ourselves to be bored.
Our brains need daydreaming/turning inward in order to refresh our creative juices.
I know at least I require an inner life not rooted in reality or I’d exist in a continual state of writer’s block.
We big people often make remarks like: I get my best ideas in the shower!
I’d venture to say it’s because we allow ourselves to daydream there!
As a parent I’m aware it’s important to focus when
school life demands, yet daydreaming suddenly felt like a pivotal way for her brain to rest, UNfocus and grow creative.
Our child is one of the most under-scheduled nine year olds I know.
Every after-school minute isn’t accounted for. She plays no sports.
Whether these are choices you agree with or not—they weren’t made in haste but design.
We wanted to give her space.
We wanted her to live with margins.
I’d not been able to put it into words before, but we wanted her to have time to daydream.
We choose to gift her to be free to seize unfilled moments, think about her day and lazily ponder different outcomes to interactions or challenges she’s experienced.
Studies indicate when children have ample time to
reflect internally daydream it enhances their ability to sustain external focus.
very very shiny object!
I’ve decided to attempt to weave daydreaming into our days.
I’ve chosen to encourage the habit of “unfocusing” each morning as my daughter & I walk the GoldenDoodle before school.
If I’m yammering away and your mind wanders–that’s OK! Our walk is perfect for that sort of thing.
If I ask a question and you were daydreaming-distracted just say SHINY OBJECT! I’ll know to back up and start again.
She laughed, but she’s clearly grasped what I’d said.
We adults talk about mindfulness all the time.
I talk about mindfulness all the time.
Perhaps, in doing so, we’ve forgotten the importance of unfocusing.
- When was the last time you allowed yourself to UNfocus and daydream?