Imagination and more: 7 children’s skills to rediscover as adults – iO Donna

THATimagination and curiositylet’s face it, those are two words that make us instant think of the universe of childhood. In the moment of life where everything seems possible and where every gesture is discovery, experimentation and the desire to know. Also we grow and certain mental abilities end up being set aside and considers it a bit superfluous in adult everyday life.

But are we sure this is really the case? In reality imagination as well as creativity and other innate abilities in childrenI, and therefore in all of us, can represent one valuable resource even for adults. To get out of the usual comfort zoneto rediscover its goals and potential as well as to imagine a different alternative by cultivating a new passion or learning a new profession …

An illustrated essay

This is the book’s dissertation As a kid, I used to be a genius. Seven Skills You Shouldn’t Lose When You Grow Up “published by Gribaudo and signed by Anna Granata, Professor of Pedagogy at the Department of Humanities for the “Riccardo Massa” program at the University of Milano Bicocca.

The volume, presented in an original figure, in between scientific essay and graphic novelin fact, I wishInvite adult readers to rediscover these childhood skills that life often leads to silence, to rediscover its inexhaustible potential. For while it may seem strange, holding a pencil, communicating with the body’s expressive ability or putting its intuitive ability to work, dimensions that are closely related to opportunity to imagine life alternatives. In short, skills that can prove to be particularly useful even as adults.

Cover of the book “When I was a child, I was a genius – Seven skills not to be lost when you grow up” Edizioni Gribaudo

To be a child again

“The book is designed for an adult reader, but it uses a language other than the strictly scientific – says the author Anna Granata – Even in its form, the challenge was actually to let an adult reader experience a kind of back to childhoodlong somehow regain the child that we each wereit is a person open to a thousand possibilities ».

In fact, the book alternates comics and cartoons with the classic text, illustrated by Margherita Allegri, who wants to be an additional invitation to rediscover and get in touch with his own childlike dimension.

What happens as adults?

But if at some point we were all, as the volume suggests, great philosophers ready to ask a thousand questions about the world and life, great artists who were obliged to experiment with the most diverse forms of expression, or enlightened scientists who were eager after discovering the laws of the world … what happened after? Why do we feel we lack these skills today?

“For common sense, it is normal to think that we are all destined to reduce – explains Anna Granata – it is normal to think that our questions become much more limited, that our capacity for imagination fades, and that our way of express us on becomes only the verbal.when in reality it is not the case. There is a cultural filter that comes into our families and schoolswhich leads us to believe that certain skills are not very useful for first achieving the pedagogical goals and then life. Imagination and creativity are almost referred to as a kind of entertainment when in fact they are precious resources even as adults ».

The power of imagination

The ability to imagine, as an adult, actually ends up gradually disappearing. L ‘imagination is all too often confused with fantasy, with the world of escapism at best as something that can be useful to those in creative professions. Yet there is nothing more wrong.

“The imagination, which is the first tool with which the child acquires reality, it is not an escape from reality as we are often led to believe as adults – explains Anna Granata – on the contrary, it is a way of looking at reality more deeply and rethinking it in an alternative way to the one who can give us the first look. It is a basic abilities even as adults because it allows us to do so alternatively connect the items we have available. Giving space to the imagination means being able to imagine, for example, a different profession or a different lifestyle ».

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Also good for the community

Moreover, rediscovering this dormant quality is not only an important possibility on an individual level, but also a basic requirement also for common life. “As Rob Hopkins explains in a book dedicated solely to fantasy – says the author of As a child I was a genius – it is not a reason for entertainment or playful activity for us adults, but a powerful antidote to the scenarios that the climatic and geopolitical crisis we are experiencing seems to condemn us to. Basically, today it is crucial to imagine different relationships with nature and the planet, as well as other ways of understanding the relationship between peoples and cultures ”.

Creativity and imagination: an innate need

Closely related to the theme of fantasy there is also that of creativity, another form of intelligence that tends to be little cultivated, if not forgotten, in adulthood. It is often led to limit it to a hobby, to some sporadic recreational activity: a space for escape, in short, from what is the normality of our adult lives.

“There creativity must in fact be rediscovered in all sectors and in every profession – explains the educator and psychologist Anna Granata – It’s something we must be in the world and fully realize ourselves as human beingsIt’s actually a very important ability of the mind because it allows you to see things from one a different point of view than usualto find new solutions. Being or rediscovering creative therefore does not only mean engaging in artistic activities, for creativity is first and foremost the opportunity to imagine solutions to life’s problems.

Intuition: a faculty to train

Intuition is also among the skills we have lost on the road to adulthood: other faculty abused, subject to several false myths. “Intuition is not only the genius of some – explains Anna Granata – We have all as children experienced the freedom to develop and experiment with ideas, even make mistakes: intuition is not a single bulb that suddenly lights up, it is rather the skill given by trying and trying a series of ideas againoften bankruptcy, which then led to that success ’.

A capacity that we in adulthood tend to slow down because manifesting new ideas, differently or perhaps in contrast to the common ones, creates embarrassment or a sense of inadequacy. Thus, we end up limiting our opportunities to a great extent. “There is also a question of gender here – explains Anna Granata – our daughters and our students quickly learn to hide this freedom to hypothesize and experiment, and prefer to express themselves only when they are sure they have the maximum preparation. But science is an attempt, a mistake, a discovery. A world that is still largely masculine today.

New thinking in children’s education

If it is then true that rediscovering childhood skills (we have gathered the others in the gallery) is an extraordinary opportunity for each of us, treat with care and avoid suffocating children’s abilities today is a crucial aspect today from an educational point of view. Where to start from?

“In society as well as in some families, the difference is still very strong between those who are considered suitable and prestigious professions and those who are not at all – concludes Anna Granata. – As parents, however, it is good to remember that we have an important task, namely that improve the dimensions of children’s personality, Avoid channeling them into paths that have already been decided by others. Listening to what the child has inside and what it wants to make as a contribution to the world, with respect for its inclinations and abilities, is best way to educate satisfied adults and motivated to make their own contribution to society “.

To this, in the end, the book As a kid, I used to be a genius also wants to be one starting point for rethinking how everyone was as a childto rediscover these childhood dreams and ambitionsperhaps ended up in a drawer as it is right and important to give a second chance to reconnect with ourselves.

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With the help of Anna Granata, who in addition to being a teacher in pedagogy is also a psychologist, we have reviewed in the gallery 7 children’s skills that we should all rediscover in adulthood.


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