Chapter 3 – Let’s Pretend.
Philly Boy begins this chapter by affirming the Lord’s sagacity regarding children – they use their imagination when playing with toys, thereby making them real. Imagination is a gift from God, but it is subject to perversion, especially since the pretend world is where a child spends most of her time.
In pretend play, children see themselves as particular characters, with all of the attributes contained therein. He uses the example of kids playing “house,” which he finds a good thing, as “it lets the child rehearse a role that will later be his.” A not-so-subtle indicator that one’s only God-given roles are spouse and parent?
Imagination fostered by evil begets violent crime; he also states that there are “documented” accounts of people killing themselves due to fantasy and “undisciplined imagination,” but fails to cite any examples. Hmmm. Children that explore mythical, rather than real, worlds are indulging in what Phillips calls “vain imagination;” they pretend to be characters more powerful than Jesus.
The corruption that children undergo is usually subtle; it piles on gradually like a layer cake that you frost and stack. Parents need to give children wholesome images, to set them on the good Christian path for life. How is this done? Give them toys that don’t have “pre-set” ideas. Easier said than done, pal, particularly when your child is bombarded with adverts for the popular toys that more often than not, their friends will also have.
He also claims that today’s toys encourage children to be solitary. I think this guy does not give kids enough credit; they are smarter than that. I had a lot of the “reviled” toys he mentions in this book, and for one thing, I didn’t always adhere to the characters’ attributes as shown in cartoons; and for another, my childhood friends usually had the rest of the set of whatever was popular, so we’d get together at recess or someone’s house. If you weren’t sharing your She-Ra action figures, you were a lame-o. So suck on that, Phil Phillips. By the way, what kind of unimaginative parents did you have, to call you something as ridiculous as Phillip Phillips?