I was looking at one of my Play Therapy workshop presentations and wondering how to adapt the information for Dear Friends. Too much information for one post. I need to break it into smaller pieces. Then I thought, why not start at the beginning.
So here’s the beginning information regarding children and play:
A) Play is the communication of relationship.
Before we have the ability to TALK (expressing ourselves with words) we tell our stories, give our perceptions, express our needs, wants, fears, and demonstrate our beliefs through PLAY. We also teach ourselves to understand our world as we view it. We learn to soothe and calm ourselves. PLAY allows us to work on internalizing control, empathy and organization. When we witness or have direct trauma, we can demonstrate our feelings and reach for relief through PLAY. When we are grappling with new situations or the loss of the old, familiar, we can use PLAY so as to use our emotional and cognitive bridge to “get over it.”
Before I go any further. I want you to check out Rise Van Fleet’s most awesome PLAY THERAPY website:
(Rise has been my “whenever I need you” mentor, for years. I continue to marvel at her dedication to her profession and how she has expanded PLAY into so many areas.)
So yes, I am a total believer that the absolute best and gentlest way in which to help a child become emotionally secure and form strong attachments from birth until . . .? is through some sort of PLAY.
Infants and up tell us through their actions (which includes PLAY, as well as behaviors, facial expressions, body language and choices for comfort) what adults try to put into words. Usually, the non-verbal communication for all of us is more telling of our truth than the words that we use.
Knowing how to PLAY with your child will bring you a wealth of information, as well as building safety, trust and comfort for your child.