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Information Please: Innovative Child Rearing Techniques:

Dramatic Play:

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When you’re two and a half feet tall, the world can be a wondrous place. There are so many new things to see, taste, touch and smell. But what do you do, when many of those new sights and sounds are off limits? As a parent, you spend a great deal of time trying to show your child the world around them, but you probably spend even more time telling them “No.” You want them to be safe, but how will they ever learn how to operate in the adult world, when they are too small to participate?

The answer is dramatic play.

By giving your child a safe place to act out and mimic the things that they see adults doing every day, they have a chance to grasp a better understanding of how things work. Here are some more benefits to engaging in dramatic play together.

Dramatic play helps develop:

Creativity
Knowledge of how the world works
Problem-solving skills
Emotional strength & stability in actions & words
Language skills
Focus, concentration
Styles of behavior
Cooperation with others
Perception of meaning
Participation in world
Imagination


Why are dress up games and dramatic play so important for childhood development?

There are many benefits to dramatic play and dress up, and it’s important that you set aside time each and every day to play together with your child. Let’s look at some examples of things that dramatic play helps kids do:

Explore issues in their lives – small children have difficulty grasping things like a new baby, a sick relative, or a move. Dramatic play allows you and your child to explore the changes that are about to occur, in a fun and exciting way. How about pretending that their dolls are sick, and they must go to the hospital to get better? Or maybe Mr. Bear has to move to a different town and try to make new friends with the other bears in town? The possibilities are endless- and you are free to discuss fears and concerns with your child in an imaginative way.

Experiment with different behaviors – playing together doesn’t come naturally to kids. They must work on cooperating with others and dealing with anger and frustration when it arises. One of the best ways to do this is through dress up. Wouldn’t you much rather your child gets upset with a stuffed animal, then a fellow playmate?

Practice decision-making/problem solving – if there are four kids and two cookies, how can you divide them up so that everyone gets their share? Try that experiment with a room full of toddlers, and someone is going to end up in tears. Act it out at home in the safety of dramatic play, and a life lesson will be learned.

Process different points of view – How do you help your child become sympathetic with the world around them? You teach them what it feels like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. Dress up allows your child to be anyone that they want to be, and helps them understand where the other person is coming up. Remember playing school as a kid? Being the teacher gave you a whole new perspective on what it was like to be a student.

Learn new concepts – there are so many other things that your child could gain from dramatic play. Math can be taught through a pretend trip to the grocery store for example.

Dramatic play helps your child become a valuable part of the adult world, while keeping them safe and secure. Don’t be afraid to let your child lead the way, and listen when they speak. You may just gain a better understanding of the world too!

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travelling through childhood

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Parenting is as much a learning business for us as travelling through childhood is for our children. Parenting is one of the  most difficult jobs that nature has provided us with. Being a parent means not only being sensitive to each child and each  situation; it also calls on us to stretch our imagination as we respond to the constant challenges our children present us  with. Children can be demanding, difficult and defiant! No advice can possibly make you get it right everytime, but a few  points kept in mind would take you a long way in dealing with daily dicipline.
 
1. The miracle of touch. Out of the five senses touch is considered to have healing qualities. Whether it takes the form of  hugs, horseplay or simply holding hands on the way to school, loving physical contact provides a simple and almost  unconscious way of showing you care.
 
2. Keep the fun alive. With all the commitments at home and work, most parents forget the word "fun" aspect of parenting.  Young children love jokes and being silly. The familiarity of special words, pet names and silly voices always manage to  brighten a child's day.
 
3. Flexibility helps! Parents sometimes expect too much of children. They ten to forget that children have a vantage point  that is above three feet lower that an adult's! bending down to get a child's eye view of a situation can save most upsets,  accidents and mishaps.
 
4. Good manners go a long way. Little children do not always know or remember "the right thing" to say in every situation.  They should be encouraged to use the terms such as please, sorry, thank you ec where appropriate. It's amazing the difference  the right words can make. They can often help from the right  attitude too.
 
5. Children need limits. Being cool helps but children also need to learn the difference between what is acceptable and  unacceptable behaviour and understand that behaviour has consequences wheter pleasant or unpleasant. Idle threats should be  avoided at all times and always mean what you say.
 
6. Being in charge does not mean being a tyrant! Parents often forget that childrent are individuals and tend to mould them  into ideal persons that they want their children to be. Although there are times when "because i said so" is appropriate,  more often than not it is better to give a reason for what you have said. Even adults make mistakes and children have  reasonable ideas. In such situations parents should apologize in the same way we expect our children to apologize us.
 
7. Check your "dont's" No one likes a lot of negativity. It sounds like nagging.
Too many "dont's" can hinder a child's  natural instinct to explore. Unless it is a life and death situation of something that will harm the child in some way, avoid  using this word. Always check whether you are using it for your convenience or for child's safety. Good behaviour should be  rewarded with praise, encouragement or a hug rather than with sweet treats or money.
 
8. Children should be children! Parents often make the mistake of expecting  children to be mini adults and be have the way  they want them to behave. Children are naturally clumsy, forgetful, and accident prone. Therefore they should never be  punished for pure childishness. Bad behaviours should be dealt with justly and the punishment appropriate to the crime.  Naughtiness is sometimes prompted by boredom or a feeling of neglect. At such times the solution will involve providing a  stimulating activity for the child or giving him attention.
 
9. Being "in control" is not really "controlling". Children do not need to be "Controlled" but when they deliberately  misbehave parents should be "in control" of the situation. They should effectively manage and guide their behaviour. Often  the expression on your face or the tone of your voice will be enough to deter all but the most determined little ones. Yet  there are times when just a stem face or a word would not do. Then appropriate and tangible action is required.
 
10. "Spare the rod" but do not spoil the child. Children's behaviour sometimes calls for sterner measures than just a small  punishment by way of forbidding what he likes to do or sending him to the room. Deliberate, repeated defiance and purposely  hurting another child are situations that need to be dealt with immediately. A well timed smack can be most effective way of  correcting this
type of behaviour. A controlled smack (on the hand, leg or the bottom) will help your child associate this  unacceptable behaviour with unpleasant consequences and deter him from repeating it. make sure he understand what he did  wrong and encourage him to say sorry. However, by your words and actions let your child know that although his  behaviour may have been unacceptable, he is always  loved.

 

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