Today’s tour host is fellow fantasy author TC Southwell, with a guest post from me about healing magic in today’s world.
Don’t forget that today is the last day you can get Michelle Louring’s The Angel’s Voice, Books 1 & 2 for FREE! See here for coupon details.
Now, on to children, fantasy and magic…
Here’s a topic that’s close to my heart. It’s not something I’ve been terribly vocal about – because how can you have an opinion about what children should or shouldn’t be exposed to when you have none? Now that I have a baby daughter, however, I feel the need to contemplate this topic and, unlike before, society ‘allows’ me to share my thoughts. Like most parents, I want only the best for my daughter and do not want to hold her back in any way. Rather, I want to enable her to achieve what others believe to be impossible.
Over the years, I’ve often heard parents object to movies and books like Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland and even the old TV series, Adventures of the Gummi Bears. Some parents will not let their children near anything that contains magic, seeing magic as evil and ‘of the Devil’. There was a time in my distant past where I might have agreed with this belief. Luckily for my baby daughter, that time has long past.
Religion and fantasy do not have to oppose each other. After all, magic is merely science we have not yet discovered the workings of… isn’t it? Ancient humans would have seen electricity as magic, along with planes, TVs, radios, telephones, dog whistles and many other things we take for granted today. Thus, logic dictates that, instead of seeing magic as bad, we should see it as a means of teaching our children that anything is possible if they put their minds to it. To do otherwise would be to stifle our children’s creativity, hold them back intellectually and teach them that unexplained phenomena should be feared and avoided.
Don’t you agree that there is already too much to fear in this world? Why add another, unnecessary, fear to give our children nightmares?
If you still aren’t convinced, here are 10 ways in which magic and fantasy can benefit children – and adults:
1. Fantasy opens the mind to enable readers to view the world through different eyes. This can be compared to ‘thinking outside the box’, something that can put one ahead of the pack.
2. Fantasy is able to address complex moral issues without being offensive or confrontational.
3. Fantasy enables one to escape the real world for a time, something we all need to do from time to time, regardless of our age.
4. Stories whose main characters are powerful magic users teach that there are choices to be made in life and, sometimes, negative consequences to our actions. Since fantasy stories are generally not set in the real world, this allows children to learn the lesson without creating a real-world fear.
5. Studies have shown that a large number of the world’s geniuses invented make believe worlds in childhood games. These studies suggest that fantasy worlds bring out one’s intelligence easier and better than stories set in the real world.
6. Fantasy aids the development of the imagination and reveals new insights – again, things that can put one ahead of the pack and result in solutions to real-world problems. Imagination is imperative for higher intelligence.
7. Fantasy helps young children to distinguish between what’s real and what isn’t.
8. Fantasy often leaves one with a feeling of hope, allowing people to conceive a better future.
9. When children play-act parts of their favourite stories, they usually choose to be the good guy, thereby acting out good morals and ethics – good preparation for similar real-life situations.
10. Everyone knows how important it is to read. Children who read a lot tend to have a better command of language, and, when it comes to exciting fantasy filled with magic and new fantasy creatures, one rarely has to beg a child to read. Instead, you might find your young one reading quietly somewhere (instead of getting up to mischief, which is often the case when they go quiet).
Do you expose your children to fantasy and why/why not? All comments are welcome, even if you disagree with my viewpoint.