The Imaginary World of My Children

Big Bad WolfI think my children spend a majority of their day in an imaginary world. I’m fine with this, I think a good imagination is an important thing. However, I am wondering if any other parents have to enter their imaginary world to get them to do things like clean up their room.

Today my kids have built the perimeter of a house out of a toddler bed, a box fan, the lid to a plastic box, a chair, and a stool. This house protects them from the wolves (we’ve read The Three Little Pigs the last few nights). Earlier their closet was part of the house and they had taken all of their shoes out of the closet and thrown them in the middle of the floor. I went in and saw the mess and told them to immediately put all of the shoes back in the closet. My oldest insisted they couldn’t because if they leave their house the wolves will get them. I told her to stop pretending and clean up the shoes, and she refused to leave this imaginary world, saying the wolves would get them if they left their “house”. So I did something I hadn’t really thought to do; most of the time this situation would have ended in yelling and crying. I told her I would lock the wolves in my room until they got the shoes picked up. To my surprise she said ok. So I locked the wolves in my room and her and her sister cleaned up the shoes. Once they had the shoes cleaned up and I changed the baby’s diaper I released the wolves and they went back to playing.

Has anybody else entered your child’s imaginary world to get them to do something?

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