Believe it or not, playing with your child is a skill that needs to be learned.

Children learn through play, so if you learn how to play and encourage and praise your child during the play and when your child exhibits positive traits, it will be extremely beneficial for your kids’ happiness, that can last through adulthood.

During the play, you simply encourage positive traits such as focusing, problem solving, self regulation, impulse control, flexible thinking and other positive traits.

For example if you see your child focusing on his/her playing, you praise your child by saying: “Great job, I love it how you focus so good and line up the blocks perfectly against each other” 
Below is a quick step on starting and playing with your child:

  1. Let your child know that you’re excited to have this special time and play with him/her.
  2. Get on your child’s level, try to act like you’re a fun kid, your child’s age, wanting to play with your child, one on one. (It is important for your child to build connection with one parent at the time).
  3. Let your child take the lead on the play and you follow your child’s lead.
  4. During the play:
    • Praise your child’s methods and play actions in order to raise your child’s confidence and encourage your child to repeat the good traits.
      For example: If your child carefully stack up blocks, you say:
      “great job stacking up the blocks so high, I like how you can focus so good on lining up the blocks so they don’t fall”
      In the above example, you raised your child’s confidence and you also taught and encouraged your child to focus during play and other activities.
    • Repeat what your child says to show that you’re very interested in what he/she is saying and doing.
    • Describe what your child is doing during the play. For example:
      “I notice that you’re stacking up the blocks very high”
    • Set a good example by having fun while playing, focus on the game, do not get side tracked, let your child run the play, and don’t ask any questions so your child can also focus and enjoy the play

There are so many games available out there that promotes positive traits and emotional intelligence such as:

  • Empathy
  • Self Regulation
  • Impulse Control
  • Flexible Thinking
  • Independence
  • Problem Solving