Playing Independently

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Okay, I’m old. I’m from a “nether generation”. But I think children playing on their own is a healthy thing for them and for you. Of course I’m not suggesting that you put them out in the front yard, or in the middle of a cow stall, and let them run free. I am suggesting, however, to allow them to escape the chaos and structure of planned activities, games, and away from your constant planning them a schedule.

I think a lot of times WE fear being alone so we feel that it is important to keep our children busy socializing and constantly active. Independent play promotes self actualization (not recognized by them but helpful in their development just the same). It gives them a sense of self-reliance, and gives them opportunity to explore the world on their terms.

Constant filling up their time with play dates, soccer, ballet, singing lessons, craft time, etc. must get tiring (I know it tires me out). When I grew up, again a completely different time, I wasn’t scheduled. I took one tap dance class when I was around 8 maybe 6. I look back at my childhood with fondness because I had the freedom to do what children do naturally…play.

Think about it; don’t you yourself get tired of having to go, go, go all the time; this meeting, make dinner, call so and so, follow up with this person, go to the gym, etc. give it a break man, and take your child with you. Childhood should be freedom in its purest form.

According to The Alliance for Childhood:

“Child-initiated play lays a foundation for learning and academic success. Through play, children learn to interact with others, develop language skills, recognize and solve problems, and discover their human potential. In short, play helps children make sense of and find their place in the world.”

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