Peter Pan’s Neverland and how to Get There with Children.
Neverland. While our dream destinations might be filled with palm trees and white sands, our children often have a very different idea of what creates a destination that is indeed made of dreams. Let’s think like a very small person. In their day to day life they are not in control of very much. That is our job as parents. To be in charge of our little ones’ health and daily routine. Yes, we offer control where we can, choice of what to where and what to eat perhaps. But it’s a limited choice, a choice made by us because we do actually know best.
But Neverland……the ultimate dream land for children everywhere. It’s a land where they are in charge, they are the hero. It’s a land full of friends of their choosing. It’s a land that’s theirs.
I don’t have to tell you what an escape to this kind of land can do for a child’s confidence, their self-esteem, their image of themselves. In a world that is at times confusing, over stimulating and demanding, a land like Neverland gives our children the chance to be in control, away from demand, to be free.
And because it is, thankfully, so far removed from reality, it fosters a sense of curiosity and wonderment that can’t be taught. It can only be felt. And it is a feeling that will become part of them, part of who they are. Imaginative, creative beings. Capable of seeing and experiencing life with a colourful eye.
And how to encourage this? Free days full of time to just play and explore. Children are masters of imagination if only they have time to access it. Of course, some props and toys stimulate the process but they are not nearly as important as the time you allow your little one to just be. They might want a playmate, you, to help them on their way, but once they’re there…its quite lovely to watch their world develop. Be it in the garden, the front room, the local park. It is one of the beauties of childhood, the ability to transport yourself anywhere, from any start point.
You don’t need outcomes, or any physical evidence of entry to this world. The experience of it exists in their minds, their imaginations. It becomes part of who they are, shapes their thoughts of the world, their thoughts of themselves. It can be such a powerful force in their world and one that can filter into every other aspect of their lives, from play, to school, to their own eventual social and work lives.
No person or school can teach the magic of Neverland. The magic of it is born within themselves.