“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.”
There is so much to write about concerning this topic. And yet, in it’s simplest explanation, no more needs to be said. Children need to play.
I have read so many books on the topic and personally observed so much on the topic. There is, without a doubt, a correlation between the free child and their confidence, inner peace with themself and the world, being content and calm, and amazingly, having the resilience and skills to handle conflict and solve problems.
And there is just as strong of a correlation between the child that rarely has a moment of their own that is not controlled or governed by an adult. Have you witnessed this: a child may act out regularly, throw tantrums well beyond the age of tantrums, struggle to focus, struggle handling their emotions, require intervention, be diagnosed with a learning disability, struggle to sleep, be medicated to assist their over-activity or lack of activity, be stressed and worried regularly, and ultimately, never feel that they, themselves, can make, do, or be the right thing that the world expects of them?
I know the above observation is extreme and may definitely not be yours or my child but that scenario is becoming commonplace in our society. Statistics prove it. Books on our children’s mental/emotional health prove it. Homes prove it. Schools prove it.
It is the devastating tale of tearing out the pages of what childhood has always resembled in the volumes of history (play, imitation, learning, and developing at a natural pace) and replacing those pages with restrictive play, thinking, creating, and autonomy and worst of all, trusting our children to find their own path.
But we can change this.
We can help change this dilemma that is affecting all children now and will, in the end, affect the future of our society as a whole.