Attention: Parents and Caregivers of Children Between 3-10 years old
Parents and Children Connecting Through Play
I am offering this parent resource in the form of an e-book. This e-book provides guidelines for parents of children, ages 3 to 10 years old, on using child-directed play principles to connect with their children through play.
You will find this eBook useful if your child:
- Struggles with strong emotions
- Constantly needs direction
- Frequently gives you directions
- Rejects your efforts to play together
You will find this eBook useful if you:
- Feel unsure how to play with your child
- Feel bored or uninterested in playing with your child
- Feel like your relationship with your child is weakening
- Want to facilitate healthy development in your child
How will you benefit from this eBook? This eBook will show you how to engage in child-directed play with your child, so that you are able to:
- Support your child, but not take over
- Give your child opportunities to make choices and decisions
- Attune emotionally to and understand your child better
- Support your child in developing healthy emotional regulation skills
- Help your child to explore and use his or her imagination
- Encourage and empower your child
- Help your child feel safe and secure
- Enter your child’s special play world to deepen your relationship with your child
- Provide your child with the benefits of play
- Feel more confident playing with your child
As a retired Child and Family Therapist and Play Therapist, I know first-hand the benefits of parent-child play, especially a particular type of play called child-directed play. Over the past decades, there have been numerous research studies supporting the benefits of child-directed play for children and parents playing together.
This e-book is the result of my desire to support parents in learning child-directed play principles to use in play with their children, so that both parents and children benefit.
The guidelines I have put together in this e-book:
- are based on child-directed play principles
- would be suitable for almost any parent and child between the ages of 3 and 10 years old
- could be used at home
- would help to strengthen the parent-child relationship
- would encourage children’s healthy development
- would help parents to learn new skills and to enjoy playing with their children
I have called these guidelines Child-Directed Playtime or CDP.
Who Would be Most Suited to Child-Directed Playtime?
Child-Directed Playtime (CDP) is targeted for children between the ages of 3 to 10 years old. Most children in this age range will benefit from CDP. Children do not need to be suffering from emotional or behavioral problems to benefit from CDP with their parents.
Children who are highly directive will often benefit from CDP as it gives them opportunities to experience a sense of control. This may seem counterintuitive, but some children, for whatever reason, have a greater need to direct and control their environment, so CDP gives them this opportunity.
When is Child-Directed Playtime Not Recommended?
Although CDP is beneficial and appropriate for many children, children who are lacking in play skills because of a delay in play development, who are highly constricted physically or emotionally, who have highly fragmented play, or who have significant cognitive or neurological difficulties may be less suited to CDP. Some children find it very difficult to initiate or maintain play activities or have difficulty inhibiting impulses with resulting out of control behaviors. These children may be more suited to a more structured and directive play approach.
CDP would not be suitable for parents who have recently experienced a traumatic event, or for parents who are currently struggling with their own mental health or addiction issues. CDP would also not be suitable for parents who are current victims or perpetrators of family violence/abuse. In these cases, individual counselling therapy and/or specialized programs for the parent(s), and separate individual play therapy/counselling for the child would be recommended until things have stabilized. When things have stabilized in the family, then CDP can be an excellent activity for children.
Children who have experienced a recent trauma or significant loss should be seen by a child therapist for individual counselling/play therapy and the parents should be in supportive counselling as well. After this initial support, CDP can be an excellent activity for children to move forward along a normal developmental path.
What Will You Get?
You will receive an e-book in PDF format, approximately 135 pages long.
Chapter 1: Introduction
- What is Play?
- What is Child-directed Play?
- What is Parent-Child Play?
- Introducing: Child-Directed Playtime!
- Benefits of Child-Directed Playtime
- Is Child-Directed Playtime Suitable for Everyone?
Chapter 2: The Basic Framework for Child-Directed Playtime: Parental Roles and Skills
- Parental Roles in Child-Directed Playtime
- Brief Summary of Parental Roles and Skills in Child-Directed Playtime
Chapter 3: Guidelines for Engaging in Child-Directed Playtime with Your Child
- Things to Consider Ahead of Time
- Starting Child-Directed Playtime
- Engaging in Child-Directed Playtime
- Ending Child-Directed Playtime
- Parent Self-Monitoring Form
Chapter 4: The Child-Directed Playtime Skills in Detail: More Examples, Tips, and Dealing with Tricky Situations
- Nondirective Skills
- Give No Directions Skill
- Ask No Questions Skill
- Limiting Praise Skill
- Independence Skill
- Following Directions Skill
- Empathic Skills
- Describing Skill
- Feelings Identification Skill
- Paraphrasing Skill
- Encouragement Skill
- Limit-Setting (Directive) Skill
- Parent Self-Monitoring Forms
Chapter 5: The Play Area and Toys for Child-Directed Playtime
- The Play Area
- Toys for Child-Directed Playtime
Chapter 6: Special Playtime: The Formal Approach to Child-Directed Playtime
Chapter 7: Where Do You Start? Ideas and Activities on Beginning to Use Child-Directed Playtime with Your Child
In this e-book:
- You will learn about the benefits of play in general, and the unique benefits of parent-child play
- You will learn about the special importance of a type of play known as child-directed play
- You will be introduced to Child-Directed Playtime, the resource I developed for parents of children 3 – 10 years old
- You will learn who will benefit and who will not benefit from Child-Directed Playtime
- You will learn about the parental roles and skills involved in Child-Directed Playtime
- You will learn guidelines on how to start, engage in, and end Child-Directed Playtime with your child
- You will learn 10 specific Child-Directed Playtime Skills to use during Child-Directed Playtime
- For each Child-Directed Playtime Skill, you will be provided with a Parent Self-Monitoring form that you can use to monitor your progress in applying the skills
- You will learn appropriate settings and toys to use for Child-Directed Playtime
- You will be provided with guidelines for a more formal and structured approach to Child-Directed Playtime
- You will be provided with ideas and activities for beginning to use Child-Directed Playtime with your child
Your Next Step:
If you are a parent of a 3 to 10 year old child and are ready to:
- Strengthen your relationship with your child
- Support your child’s healthy physical, intellectual, and emotional development
- Feel more confident and have more fun playing with your child
I am offering an e-book called Child-Directed Playtime: Parents and Children Connecting Through Play for $19.95 CDN.
sign up below to receive your free article.