Wednesday, February 1, 2012

MovingSmart: "Parents Make the Best PlayMates"

All child development experts (including me) will tell you that one of the best things you can do for your child is to play with your child. But those same experts (including me) often lament that parents don’t always know HOW to play with their kids.
I have a theory about this.  Adults sometimes struggle with “child’s play” because it is counter-intuitive to what’s expected of us in every other part of our lives. As adults, we’re expected to be strong, mature and in control at all times; responsible, efficient, effective, and results-oriented. Yet it is these exact qualities that make adults INEFFECTIVE as play partners to their children.  

To help you understand what I mean, here are a few rules of thumb I prescribe for parents during playtime...

FOLLOW, DON’T LEAD.  When it comes to play, your child is better at it than you are.  Know your place and follow her lead (unless safety becomes an issue).

GET SHORTER.  Whenever you can, bring yourself down to her level (both physically and emotionally!).  This is your time to see the world through her eyes.

KEEP IT POINTLESS.  True play has no agenda – no rightness or wrongness to it. Whatever happens happens.  Keeping playtime open and free is not only the best way to encourage your child's imagination, it's also the best way to help her learn naturally.

And no matter what, remember, playtime is for both of you, so relax and go for the ride!

You can read the article here too:

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