A - Everyone daydreams sometime. Daydreams don’t just happen; they are most likely prompted by an event we see, hear, smell, feel, or taste, or memories that bring us back to something. The triggering event turns our imagination on.
Other triggers – curiosity, boredom, confusion, and fear – may bring new or old ideas to mind. During the time that we are seeing what our imagination shows us, the real world drops away, as our brain receives our imagined scene.
Most of us use our picture thinking daily. Because picture thinking is subliminal – faster than a person can be aware of – you may not be aware that you think in pictures. You will simply have a rich sense of ideas; call this intuition or nonverbal intelligence.
Sometimes a person’s tendency for picture thinking is a cause for alarm as with a child whose parent brought her to me because of her ability to ‘see things’ and her poor reading ability. Sure enough, the daughter told me that I was surrounded by a field of pink. What a relief to both parents and child to understand her ability to ‘see things’ occurs when her imagination/mind’s eye turns on. Through our work together she realized she controls her mind’s eye on/off switch.
Simply stated, daydreaming is an automatic action for strong creative picture thinkers. It is a survival solution when trying to solve the confusion accompanying a situation or a new word when reading. Understanding how it feels when daydreaming occurs, allows her to shut off her imagination so her brain will see only the real letters so she stands a better chance of recognizing the word.
Embrace your daughter’s daydreaming, provide her the perspective that daydreaming is not BAD, but a good ability of her great brain. Check to see which of the triggers fits when she daydreams: Curiosity, Confusion, Boredom, Fear.
This automatic picture thinking can be interpreted as disability, rather than the ability that picture thinking is. If the help she receives in reading, spelling, writing, or understanding the spoken word is tedious and discouraging for her, consider the possibility that providing her the tools and understanding that come with respecting her picture thinking will give her control and pride about her way of thinking.
Our perspective creates what we see. A three year old put his shoes on by himself. His mother noticed the left shoe was on the right foot. She said, “Son, your shoes are on the wrong feet.” He looked up at her with a raised brow and said, “Don’t kid me, Mom. I know they’re my feet.”