If you do a google search of, “Why should children play pretend,” you will get thousands of answers. One common theme it that it’s great for their future and their growing mind. Children learn all the time. When they play pretend, they can explore and create with their ideas and passions. Many times, it’s a “monkey see, monkey do,” game of house or princesses. Other times, it can be more abstract; for example, when they create their own world.
However, the common theme is that they are using their mind and imagination. The point of this discussion today is how your involvement is important. If your child comes to you to play pretend, you might not feel like it. Sometimes you’ll tell them to find their sister/brother or that you’ll play later. Other times, you might suggest something that is more fun to you like a board game, video game, or outdoor game. However, it’s important to go along with these play sessions. Here’s why.
Further Your Bond
You have a growing bond with your child. The best way to develop this bond is by doing something with them that will make them happy. Think about your adult relationships. When someone wants to make you happy, they do something that you like. Children work a similar way, though they are inherently more selfish than an adult.
If your child wants you to play with them, it’s a great way to grow your bond. It’s also a sign that they like you and want to have fun with you. Unlike an adult, they don’t always show their appreciation through selfless acts. More often than not, it’s by showing you something that they like. Taking time to play along with your children will show them that you understand and that you want to have fun with them as well.
Playing pretend isn’t just good for children. It’s a great way for adults to relax and use a more creative side of their minds. As we grow, we are often pushed to stay away from our creative sides through school, work, and general life. However, using the creative side of your brain can be great for your mental health. How can you do that?
If your child wants to play with you, try a game of “the floor is lava” or “rocket to the moon” to encourage physical activity while also playing pretend. Using your creative skills to pretend you are on the moon, that you are a dog, or that you are swimming will help to stimulate many parts of your mind that are left alone while working or cleaning. This gives other parts of your mind and break and can help you work better when you do get back to work.
Pretend to Calm Down
When was the last time you were stressed? If you’re someone who meditates, you might have taken a few minutes to calm yourself down and look at the situation from a new perspective. However, most people will keep working through it. Another option, play with your child. Playing pretend is a great way to calm down and forget why you were upset.
Sure it doesn’t solve the problem. However, it does give you a chance to look at it with fresh eyes after you are done playing. Your child will learn, however, subconsciously, that there are alternatives to staying stressed all the time. Also, getting your mind off the problem is the perfect way to find the solution to it. How many times have you solved a problem right when you’ve given up? It’s not luck. It’s that you were finally calm enough to look at the situation without, or with fewer, emotions.
Playing pretend doesn’t have to be something that you do to make your child happy. It can be something you do with your child to have fun. Playing pretend is a great way to encourage your child to grow while also helping yourself with inspiration and stress management at the same time. When was the last time you took your kid on a rocket to the moon?
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