- This book highlights specific ways in which we are destroying our children's imagination and by contrast, how to stimulate it;
- Its message is crucial for the future of our society since that lies in our children;
- It is entertaining and thought-provoking.
- It could have done with some more thorough editing for grammatical faults.
Dr. Anthony Esolen is a Professor of Literature at Providence College, RI, Senior Editor of "Touchstone" Magazine and the author of several other books and translations. This book is insightful and entertaining, playful and ironic despite its very serious warning about the impact of the modern lifestyle on our children's imagination.
If you are a parent-to-be you should read this book now, so that you can plan ahead and provide an environment that will nurture the imagination of your future children, if you are already a parent, a teacher, or a school administrator, you should read this book and think whether there is anything you can change.
According to Dr. Esolen, it is very difficult to destroy the imagination of a child, simply because it is resilient and finds food in the most unlikely places, and yet modern society has taken many steps along the way to doing so as effectively as if we were truly setting out with that as our goal.
In the name of providing opportunities for them to learn creative skills we have scheduled their time so that they are rarely left alone and unoccupied for long enough to stop and think about the world around them, or to enjoy simply being still, nor are they left to find ways of entertaining themselves without electronic assistance.
Our children are rarely left alone to explore, to work out their difficulties with other children, to play games unsupervised and work out issues of fairness without adult intervention, Although they are taught to read they are fed only the most banal material which does not speak to their imagination, cultivate their values, or give them heroes to admire. From an early age we encourage them to find entertainment watching other people do things, rather than experimenting for themselves and in an effort to make them open-minded, we leave them without any guidance at all.
Even at school, the focus is on the child rather than the fascinating world into which he has been born, and which he needs to understand in order to grow and contribute to society. He is asked to tell about his feelings and responses, rather than to learn objective knowledge and facts about the world and how it works. His time and energy is so taken up with this that he has little time to interact with such dangerous objects as books, trees, tools or machines unless they are suitably sterilised and the nasty parts taken out.
We are consumed with the apparent goal of encouraging our children's imagination, and yet at the same time we are discouraging it at almost every level. "Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child" offers us a timely warning, and advice on how to give your child's imagination space to grow. I strongly recommend that you purchase and read this book.
This book raises some very important issues about how we are treating our children. We need to look closely at what we are doing to the hearts and minds of our children, as well as their bodies. At the very least you should read this book and consider its claims.