Emotional development philosophy paper.
Emotional Development Philosophy
Emotional Development Philosophy
Play is often trivialized in many settings with people dismissing it as an immature activity that children engage in and that they will eventually outgrow. It is common to hear people dismiss adult play as childishness because playing is often considered childish and immature. There is some truth in that statement, but it is not entirely true. While a play is important to children and is often associated with children, it is just as crucial to adults as well. Play during childhood is important and critical in determining many facets of a child’s life including, but not restricted to mental health, intellectual ability, as well as social soundness (Brock et al., 2013). In the past, the society was structured in a way that afforded children more time to play. However, in recent times, formal education is taking more of the children’s supposed play time. ‘Earlier is better’ is the principle these days as more children are thrust into formal education early in life which tends to limit severely their playing time. Parent’s tight working schedules and the employment sector becoming more competitive, the parent’s time with their kids has also been limited. While parents may not feel the impact these actions may have on the development of the kid, limiting a child’s playing time has far-reaching impacts on the rest of their lives (Shonkoff et al., 2012). In this paper, I will discuss my personal philosophy regarding child play and how important the play is to the society in general.
Value of play in childhood
Play, during childhood, should not be an option, it should be mandatory. Such is the importance of play. Scientific research continues to show how important child play is in integrating the child into the real world and why limiting a child’s play has a life-long impact on the child. Play takes many forms. Some of these forms include, but are not limited to, cooperative play, fantasy play, parallel play, onlooker play, unoccupied play, solitary play, expressive play, constructive play, social play, associative play, and motor or physical play. The various forms of play are not unique to any age group, but each type of play is associated with a particular age and has its unique benefits to the child. Unoccupied play is the earliest form of play and typically takes place in the earliest months of infancy. During this stage of an infant, the infant seems to make uncoordinated movements that seem purposeless. After the unoccupied stage, an infant enters the solitary play stage where they spend most of their time playing in solitude. At this stage, the child does not even notice other kids playing nearby. They are embroiled in their small world, watching things close to them, grabbing them and rattling them. Infants at this stage begin to notice and identify things around them (Piaget, 2013).
The onlooker stage sets in after the solitary play stage. At this stage, the child begins to notice other children playing nearby and is interested in watching them play. The child does not make any efforts to join the other kids in their play. Parallel play sets in after the onlooker stage. The child gets tired of watching other kids play and joins them. However, they do not interact with the other kids while playing. Instead, they play with them but each kid minds their own play. The associative stage, which immediately follows the parallel play stage involves kids playing with each other. The kid gets interested in playing with the other kids even more than their own toys. Social play in which the kids learn to socialize through their play follows the associative stage. Constructive as well as physical play immediately follows the social play as kids learn to construct things. Expressive and fantasy play in which kids assume roles in their plays from the last categories of children’s play (Piaget, 2013).
From the various categories of play, it is evident that kids learn a lot of stuff. The progressive nature of their forms of play shows a maturing of their minds and the increasing complexity of their play. From playing in solitude to role-playing and fantasy play, the kids learn to socialize with the other kids. The kids also learn to construct things, succeed in winning and losing. The children are also model their small worlds in the real world. The older kids also help the younger kids understand systems of play, playing with rules and the various roles that various people have in the societies. The various forms of plays benefit the young children in various ways. Gaining knowledge is at the top of the list of benefits that accrue to a child involved in play. Knowledge about the society, the interactions of the various members of the society and the roles assumed by the people is also learned, albeit in an abstract way, through child’s play. A child learns to think and to memorize through their plays. Children also test their beliefs about the world through their plays (Brock et al., 2013).
Problem-solving is learned by a child during the playing periods. Different challenges often arise during child play. The children learn to solve some of these problems when they encounter them. Some of these problems may include bursting of the ball. The children learn to inflate the ball when it loses pressure. They also learn to ask for permission to either play in certain areas of the compound and to involve other elements into their own play. Imagination and creativity are learned by children during play. Play allows the children to stretch their imaginations through various activities and roles they assume during their play. When some form of play also becomes boring, the children also use their creativity to make the play even more interesting. Children often lack the equipment to play with. With their creativity, children often can engage in play without having their ordinary tools of play such as balls and toys (Brock et al., 2013).
Various skills such as negotiation skills, working within groups and sharing are often learned in playing scenarios. These skills are important to children in the real world. Children also learn decision-making at this stage of their lives. They may make such decisions as to whom to play with, where to play, which game to play or what roles to play and who should take up which role. At this stage, it is common for children to learn to agree, to solve arguments and to allow others to make suggestions. When children disagree, they often call an older child or an adult to help solve the disagreement. Involving adults in their problems allows them to learn from the adult in terms of decision-making. During their play, children also tend to gravitate towards plays that are of interest to them. Therefore, they are able to learn and develop their interests (Brock et al., 2013).
Through the play, the children can learn social maturity, to develop their intellect and to learn other cognitive and motor skills. Most of these skills come in handy when children are faced with their daily challenges. Through their plays, the children are able to develop physically. The children also gain confidence to handle various problems they may face. Successfully solving a given problem gives a child a sense of self and pride. The pride gives them the confidence to tackle problems in the future. The children often see the world from an abstract sense in that the values and the skills they learn from their various play are usually projected into the real world. Various beliefs are also tested in the process; a key value in the real world (Glenn et al., 2013).
Children also gain language skills in the process. Their vocabulary is enriched. It is, therefore, important for the children to be involved in plays that add value to them. Playing, though often used as a fun activity, it can be used as an opportunity to learn and to teach various skills. Schools use the playing activities and time as a chance to have fun and to learn. They conjure up activities that enable them to add to their vocabularies and other skills such as motor skills.
My personal philosophy
Play is not a childish activity but a crucial activity that everyone needs to experience. Denying a child playing time is denying such child of a right to develop to a mature human being. Playing is a social activity that is meant to allow mankind to enjoy their lives while internally developing their mental, physical and intellectual capability. I believe that play not only affects children, but it shapes the societies we live in. Children who play enough and develop their social skills learn important virtues that enable them to live in harmony with other people when they grow up. A child that does not develop well is poised to be a social misfit in the society (Glenn et al., 2013). Social misfits affect all of us. It is, therefore, important for all of us to play a part in ensuring that children grow up well and that they develop their social skills.
In ancient times, people believed that children were a communal thing and that everyone had the responsibility to contribute to their upbringing. It was common to see relatives being involved in their children’s lives through advice. In recent times, it is common to see families bringing up their own children in seclusion. It is difficult, if not impossible to bring up children as a single parent. Parents need to be personally involved in their children’s plays. Getting involved in your child’s play allows the parent to assess how their children are developing. Some children are slow (Glenn et al., 2013). A parent can notice if their children are slow and if the need extra help coping with the challenges they face in their lives. A child is not socially mature to handle some challenges such as sorrows, sadness, anger or frustrations. When they are first faced with these challenges while playing with other children, it is common for the children to lash out or to shut down. A parent who is involved with their children should be able to notice such reactions and find ways to help their children to handle their frustrations.
Parents should be actively involved in their children’s play. In fact, research shows that parents have a huge role to play in helping their children cope with new challenges (Shonkoff et al., 2012). However, a certain level of involvement needs to be kept. Getting too involved also tends to interfere with a child’s development. A child needs to be able to learn to solve some problems on their own; getting too involved may interfere with this process as children may find it difficult to sort out similar problems when the parents are not close by. In fact, I believe that at times, it is important for the parent to leave the child to make the wrong decision in order to learn. The parent should only interfere when tempers or some feelings that require a higher form of social maturity come into play such as frustrations (Shonkoff et al., 2012).
Parents can also play with their children. In fact, parents are the first playmates for their children. Most parents tend to shy away from the responsibility when the children start making friends. Parents need to continue being there for their children even after they start making new friends. Parents still have a huge role to play after their children start maturing and making new friends on their own. Parents can still play with their children and get involved in their playing activities by playing the games with their children. However, parents should let the child win at times in order not to frustrate their children. The winning lets a child build their self-confidence and to develop the competitive spirit. The spirit to compete and hunger to win is a great virtue in the competitive world where opportunities are limited and competitive is increasing for the same resources by the day (Lillard et al., 2013).
Poverty is always mentioned as a limiting factor that hinders the adequate development of children. To some extent, it may be true. However, in my opinion, extreme poverty may deter the adequate development of the child as children do not have more time to play. Children are forced to mature long before their age and to take up responsibilities they do not possess the social maturity to handle. However, it is worth noting that even in impoverished areas, where children do not possess colorful toys, children still do find ways to play (Nwokah, Hsu & Gulker, 2013). The children in these areas tend to be more creative. However, most of their plays are more physical in nature compared to children from families that can afford to purchase toys whenever the child needs or wants one. Children from poor backgrounds, therefore, tend to grow in a different way. However, whatever the family is setting maybe, it does not affect the significance play has for children as well as its life-long impact as they grow into adulthood. Some skills learned as a toddler are used for the rest of their lives. Additionally, playing does not just stop during childhood, it continues for the rest of our lives. The frequency and nature of playing may differ, but the basic concept of play still exists way into adulthood (Brock et al., 2013).
Brock, A., Dodds, S., Jarvis, P., & Olusoga, Y. (2013). Perspectives on play: learning for life. Routledge.
Glenn, N. M., Knight, C. J., Holt, N. L., & Spence, J. C. (2013). Meanings of play among children. Childhood, 20(2), 185-199.
Lillard, A. S., Lerner, M. D., Hopkins, E. J., Dore, R. A., Smith, E. D., & Palmquist, C. M. (2013). The impact of pretend play on children’s development: A review of the evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 139(1), 1.
Piaget, J. (2013). Play, dreams and imitation in childhood (Vol. 25). Routledge.
Nwokah, E., Hsu, H. C., & Gulker, H. (2013). The Use of Play Materials in Early Intervention: The Dilemma of Poverty. American Journal of Play, 5(2), 187-218.
Shonkoff, J. P., Garner, A. S., Siegel, B. S., Dobbins, M. I., Earls, M. F., McGuinn, L., … & Wood, D. L. (2012). The lifelong effects of early childhood adversity and toxic stress. Pediatrics, 129(1), e232-e246.
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