You can learn so much about your children from playtime. Playtime for children can be more revealing about who they are than talking or even watching them in a vocation as they get older.
The Need for Playtime for Children and Adults
You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.
When there is no test to pass, no educator to please, God-given strengths can flourish through playtime. So as parents, it’s important to remember not to confuse an interest that your child has in something with a strength that remains through life.
Helping children pursue interests is not about pushing them to be their best at something or jumping into something you think is a natural fit for them.
The best way to lead your children in the process of discovery is through observation.
When you pay attention to the interest of your child, their strengths start to emerge. So ask questions, listen, and watch what they wonder about. Children are full of surprises.
Play Can Lead to Interests
Play is a very positive thing. It opens the mind up to a world of possibilities. New thoughts are considered, and new behaviors are formed.
Encourage your children to try new experiences. For example, playing a new game or sport or meeting new friends can lead to discovering interests they didn’t know existed.
5 Ways You Can Help Your Child:
- Help them step out of their comfort zone
- Encourage without pushing
- Plant seeds of possibilities
- Tell them about ‘what if’ outcomes
- Give them a reason or benefit for trying something new.
Watch, Don’t Control
Try not to spend your child’s playtime controlling everything they do. Instead, allow this time to be spent observing their behavior and actions. You can learn a lot through watching them.
Create Time for Exploration, Experimentation, Innovation, and Creativity
As parents, there is a balance between allowing children to discover interests and restricting choices. In addition, of course, children need to learn social norms and how to obey the rules, but, sadly there’s a great deal of pressure put on children to compete and conform, and little time is spent encouraging the joys of exploration, innovation, and discovery as it pertains to cultivating your child strengths.
Help Them Learn from Failed Attempts
Some children are risk-takers, and some children are afraid to take risks. I know some kids who naturally view failure as part of trying; therefore, they don’t get discouraged when one of their great ideas doesn’t pan out. Instead, that optimistic child sees life as a great adventure with a few pitfalls along the way. While other more competitive children don’t want to do anything unless they are reasonably confident will bring success.
Knowing how your children think about stepping into uncharted territory will help you construct the proper scenario to help them learn how to work through not winning, being successful, or failing.
- Knowing Your Strengths Part 1 – ETB #71
- Knowing Your Strengths Part 2 – ETB #72
- Knowing Your Strengths Part 3 – ETB #73
- Knowing Your Strengths Part 4 – ETB #74
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