Parent and Child as Partners in Play

9:49 PM

The idea of parent and child as partners in play may be unthinkable to many. Play is for children, right? Not so, says child psychologists who believe that parents have a big role to play (pun intended) in the seemingly exclusive part of a child's world called play.

What Child Psychologists Say

Child psychologists believe that parents can help their children develop learning through play. Dr. Sarah Patrick for one, advises parents to allow their children to take the lead for them to be able to discover their environment and how people interact with each other. She adds that the simplest way to really help children is to be completely attuned to what they are doing by watching what they are doing and asking open-ended questions that will encourage them to think. 

How Can Parent and Child Be Partners in Play?

What is being suggested can be easier said than done because it requires time, effort, and dedication. Some may say allowing children to play by themselves provides parents to do other things that require their attention without the guilt. After all, children are enjoying themselves while playing. However, deciding to be an active partner in play with one's child is an opportunity that every parent should seize and put to good use.

So how can we do it?

1. By Being Present

Being a partner in child's play requires physical presence and giving time. Every child plays at his or her own phase and directing the child to play according to the parent's point of view defeats the purpose of achieving learning through play. It cannot be rushed if it is to be beneficial to your child.

2. By Playing

Parents have to be with the child - watching, listening, interacting, and playing as well. Just being there for the sake of it may make the child feel that he is still alone playing. Making playtime a "we" time is the way to go.

3. By Enjoying

Parents must allow themselves to enjoy the moment instead of treating it as another chore or obligation to accomplish. Be like a child and see the world in the eyes of your child. Try to remember how it was when you were still young and everything was a wonder to discover.

The Expected Return

What can parents who decide to be partners in play with their child expect in return? 

For one, they can expect a child who learns faster.

For another, they can also expect to see the love and appreciation in their eyes for a  parent who has taken the time.

My Say

That look in itself is priceless. That said, I see no need for more words.

The video below should say it all. 

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  1. This is so true, "Be like a child and see the world in the eyes of your child." Playing with your child is the cheapest and easiest way to bond with him or her. You will learn more about your child when you play with him or her.

  2. I'veen a great difference between letting a child play and playing with a child. The development is really faster when you play with your child. It will just really reauire extra effort on the parents, but the fruit is very rewarding.

  3. I love the idea that we ask them questions to give them room to think what they can bring to the plate. I love watching my kids play. They're so imaginative. Even if the house ends up a mess haha

  4. I love this! Parent and child interaction is so important. Especially nowadays when smartphones, gadgets and technology as a whole have taken a big part of our lives already. I tend to feel guilty when my son's quietly playing all by himself while i'm busy with other chores. So I really make sure that after I'm done with what I am doing, I approach him and play with him. His reaction is so priceless! It just proves that the parents attention are a big deal for them.

  5. Playing with the child doesn't just benefit the child. It also takes the parents away from all the stress and worries. It's great to be a child at times: just play, have fun and enjoy the moment. I play and do silly things with my son. And I hope to continue to do that.

  6. Thank you for this inspiring post! Honestly, it's probably not just the child who benefits from playing with parents. I personally feel a lot better and stress-free when playing with my kid!

  7. I am guolty of not playing with my kids juat so I can do whatever I have I guess it's high time that I aoly with them kahit ilang minutes lang para mafeel nila ang presence ko.

  8. Finding time to play with kids is really a struggle but parents need to set their priorities. If we can't always be there, make sure that if time permits we spend a quality time with them. Quality is still better than quantity. Toys that promote sharing and working together are nice gifts this Christmas.

  9. I think that the biggest reward for parents is to witness that look you're describing. Priceless, indeed. I've been reading a lot about play so I let my kids play a lot, I have to admit, though, that I don't get to play with my kids as often as I used to because I work now

  10. That's why I'm super excited for my baby to finally graduate from just rolling around to sitting up and picking up things! Can't wait to diy toys and play with her. It's a better learning experience for them when they have 'kalaro'

  11. For me, play time equates to bonding time with my son. I find it more fun than just watching him play. And besides, playing with my son lets me bring out the kid in me as well. :D

  12. I totally agree. I make it a point to play with my kids everyday. My 11 yo doesnt play with toys that much though so I spend time with him talking about books that he read or characters from a movie we both watched. :)

  13. playing with our kids creates good relationship with them. I wish by body can be as young to accommodate rough play with my little boy.

  14. I agree all of the above mentioned. I feel so comfortable when my toddler is playing with me or with his papa. Because I really want to feel him that he is special and also for his safety. Sometimes kasi di maiiwasan ang mga aksidente while our kids are playing. Prevention is always better than cure.

  15. totally true that parent and child play is priceless. As a mom I always find time to play with my lil man

  16. That's true! During my kids younger years, we used to play a lot coz im a full time mom then and i really miss it now. Specially now coz they were at school the whole day while im busy with business... time flies so fast..

  17. my boys play. Through playing, they learn many things from counting to giving to cooperation and many more. With the.biys now all feeling grown up, I am left with no choice but to play with the youngest. And I see the same.enthusiasm as I saw in my boys. Hpw I wish my.three other boys are available too for their youngest brother.


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