Play is an essential part of every child’s life. During the weeks of lockdown and partial lockdown, play has been particularly important for emotional regulation and the movement in and out of stress states.
It is a joy to be hidden, but a disaster not to be found - D.W. Winnicott
It is not always easy as a parent to sit and engage in uninterrupted play or to connect with our children in the way they momentarily might need to be met. Good enough play is key. Many parents have become their child's only play mate during the pandemic and this can feel exhausting and monotonous.
The Pride Play method by Sheila Eyberg is a way to remember some of the skills that are helpful for your child during play time with them.
- Praise effort and the process
- Reflect back language and details
- Imitate - follow your child's lead
- Describe what you see
- Enthusiasm - be involved in their world
Sitting with them, noticing how they are playing, being curious and verbalising that you are interested helps to build meaningful connection. That is enough.
Remember; your interest and presence is more important than your play skills or repertoire of games.
Author: Dan Lawrence, Primary Counsellor
You can read more about the importance of play in our earlier blog post 'Why Play is Important?'