Fantasy stage of child development

I have been working with a 7 year old girl and in the last session she brought me her Monster High stuff so now I am all updated on Monster High.

Monster high Jpeg

monster high dolls

Pam Levin, 2015. Transactional Analysis Journal

She states that when people develop problems about this stage they can often have a scary, sinister and demonic quality about them. Children can report nightmares and can have a particular interest in magic. In terms of personality theory this relates to the P1 ego state. At this age the child is playing with and exercising that part of her personality. It is interesting that humans should have this as part of normal human development as one struggles to find the evolutionary advantage to having such a developmental stage. How would this aspect of the personality add to the survival of the species?

P1 ego states

P1 features

Levin refers to this stage of development as the Supernatural Child lasting from 3 to 6 years of age. The stage of fantasy and magic and scary things. Witches, potions, spells, dragons, flying broomsticks are all part of this magical, devilish, scary and a bit of fun part of the personality which TA theory would say is the P1 part of the personality. We all know magicians fake it but there is still that part of us that likes to see some magic in action.

This part of the personality is engaged with things like the Harry Potter stories. It can also be found in Batman with characters like the Penguin and the Joker. They are presented as mischievous, irreverent and yet appealing characters. Halloween could be seen to be a time when people focus on this aspect of the personality.

 

It seems the marketers have learnt intuitively or otherwise about this stage of child development and responded with the appropriate merchandise. One could argue that this is exploitative or one could also see it as providing ways by which children of this age can learn through play with such Monster High items.

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