The Importance of Adult Participation in Child Play
The United Nations High Commission for Human Rights states that every child has a right to play, just as he or she has a right to life, education, and health. Theorists such as Lev Vygotsky claim play helps children increase their ability to interact with others, practice taking on different roles, and develop creativity. Above all, through play, children master new skills and learn new information about the world.
Parents and Guilt
Too often, parents misunderstand studies about the benefits of play. They end up feeling guilty that they are not doing enough to guide their children's development. They worry that if they do not supply their children with the right play experiences at the right ages, their children will fall behind other children, fail at school, and ultimately fail at life!
Soon learning becomes a competition. By controlling the way their children play, parents attempt to attain a specific result-quantifiable success. Afraid that skipping any one activity will put their child behind other children, parents sign their child up for everything and fill any free time left with rote flashcard drills.
Activities such as ballet lessons, music lessons, karate lessons, foreign language classes, and participation in sports teams are all wonderful taken one or two at a time. However, if you pile too many on at once, you neglect one of the most important developmental opportunities that you can offer your child-open-ended, child-driven play that is shared at certain times with you.
The Benefits of Play
Children learn essential life skills by copying adult role models. From the moment your child is born, you are their first and best toy and playmate. As they grow older, connecting with them through shared play experiences strengthens the bond between parent and child and keeps lines of communication open even when daily schedules become more hectic and time together harder to arrange.
source: Ezine Articles
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