Harvard University has tracked the development of over 700 people for 75 years, and found that a good parent-child relationship at an early age plays a crucial role in children's mental health, family relations and future career. In line with this more and more parents are considering how to foster children through early childhood, and help them grow up developing strong relationships.
In our parent lecture this week at City Campus, the Head of Early Years Dr Tina Stephenson spoke about how parents can improve their relationships with their children through playing.
Children Become Their Parents
‘If parents love to read, so will their children; if parents love to play musical instruments, so will their children,' Dr Stephenson told us. She further said that it is essential for children's development that parents maintain good nutritional habits and have healthy relationships. Dr Stephenson mentioned that long-term educational practice has proven that parents playing with their children is conducive to the development of children's cognition, thinking, emotional intelligence and other vital aspects of development. It is also important for parents to enjoy playing themselves and thereby guide their children to develop their creativity and imagination.
How to Play with Young Children
Here are some tips from Dr Stephenson:
Sit beside the child and start to play something similar to them.
Interact when they have invited you to join them.
When the child interacts with you, you can invite the child for further play. But don't try to control the play.
Follow their instructions and do not argue. Do not criticise or correct the child.
Don't feel rushed or look at your phone.
Physical play fighting (pillows fights is okay but set time limits.)