Child's Play

It is amazing to watch my son at play. They way his skills develop every day; and the new, creative, and sometime unusual ways he discovers to interact with his toys and surroundings simply fascinates me. I've watched him grow physically, emotionally, and socially in just these short 17 months.

I know there is plenty of research on the subject of children and play, but I can't seem to locate much on how play affects parents. As a new parent, I've enjoyed the chance to reintroduce play in to my daily life. It is a chance to relax and explore the world around me with less inhibitions, and, OK, through much shorter eyes.

We forget how integral play can be in teaching children the skills they need for the rest of their lives.
  • How to approach a foreign situation (first trip to the beach, meeting a new dog)
  • How to resolve conflict with others ("I'm sorry I hurt you. I'll stop throwing sand now")
  • How to share and be generous ("You go first. I'll take a turn when you're done")
  • How to push ourselves to try new skills (Yes, I CAN climb that jungle gym)
  • How to solve a problem (The big block works better on the bottom of my tower than the top)
If only we could encourage our employers to allow more free time to interact with our colleagues. I'm sure it would lead to healthier team relationships and more imaginative and productive solutions to work challenges.

Let's expand that concept a little. Imagine how much better the world would be if adults relearned how to "play nice." It could be the first of many steps toward world peace.

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