I was reading Woman's Day Magazine the other day while sitting on the porch watching the boys play the other day. I came across an article that I loved, and as I read it it screamed.... BLOG POSTS!
The title of the article is The 6 things kids really need, and one they don't. Just the title made me say... ok what is this all about? One thing I liked was the fact that all of the points were backed up with statements from doctors, be in PhDs of MDs it was people who are in a field working with children. I decided to take each of these 6 items that kids need, and the one they don't and blog about it and how I feel it plays a role in my life. I will post these for the next 7 Saturdays... read along if you want or even better read the article yourself and reflect on your own blog.
#1 I love you's.
#2 Structure and Limits
#4 Something Shared
This one is something that I hold dear to my heart. It is one area that I fought long and hard with many a principal in my teaching days. Children need to play. Children learn when they play. When a child plays they learn not only to interact with others, they learn to problem solve, communicate, inter- and intra- personal skills, spacial relational skills, dealing with concrete and abstract concepts and so much more.
Have you ever sat and listened, really listened, to children play? They work through the same problems that adults do they just do it on a child level. They figure out how to take turns, play by the rules (those set like in a game, and those implied by the play), and be fair. They learn how to work with others who are similar and those who are different.
Children need time to play with other children, with adults and by themselves. When they play with other children, they work on social skills needed in life. When they play with adults, they develop a connection with others and can model new skills. When a child plays by themselves, they develop an independence and imagination.
So often now children's lives are structured by adults. We think we know what our children need... they need to play sports, learn an instrument, go to tumbling class, have structured play dates, go to story time at the library, and so much more. Now don't get me wrong I'm not saying that any of these things are wrong. Trust me my boys will be in sports and other things, but I believe in balance. I know that they need time to do what they want to do. They need to have time to just play with their toys. They need to have time to go out and ride their bikes, play on the playground and just be kids. When we allot time for them to play by themselves we show them that alone time is good, that quiet time is good, that they don't need people telling them what to do all the time. But even more importantly.... we show then that it's ok to just have fun.
Favorite quote: "The loss of free, undirected play in modern childhood," declares Michael Thompson, PhD, and author of The Pressured Child: Freeing Our Kids from Performance Overdrive and Helping Them Find Success in School and Life. "Kids need time away from their parents to just play." And it's not just because kids enjoy play-- it's actually helps their brains develop properly.