Playing with kids helps them develop

Parent and child play is profoundly meaningful and has more value than adults might think, psychologists point out.

Parent and child play is profoundly meaningful and has more value than adults might think, psychologists point out.

"Play allows parents to enter a child's world in order to foster closeness, confidence and connection," says Lawrence J Cohen, a psychologist, play therapist and author of Playful Parenting.

"Playing is how children show themselves to us," Cohen explains. "It's also a way to be close and to reconnect after closeness has been severed by argument or conflict.

"The more we join them in their world, the more cooperative they will be."

Interactive play with their parents helps children develop the social skills necessary for getting along with others and is core to their healthy development, says Stanley Greenspan, a clinical professor of paediatrics and psychiatry and author.

"When you play with your children you're not only connecting and engaging, you're exchanging back-and-forth emotional signals," he says. - Parenthood

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