All work, no play, makes a dull child

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TIME OUT Parents should ensure that their children get enough time to play
TIME OUT Parents should ensure that their children get enough time to play

Play time is important for the mental and physical growth of the children, says Fiona Scott

Play is work for the young, and children are the happiest when playing. Even though we know this, we tend to forget this very crucial aspect of growing up. When children say they want to play, we come up with a host of other things for them to do, all these surpassing the necessity of playing. If we walk down memory lane, it's clear to see that we enjoyed play more than our children. The television, computer and even parents have seduced children from physical activity.Perhaps a bird's eye view of the benefits that play has to offer might help you change your mind the next time your kid asks you if he can go out to play.

Things to note

Children learn through play how to use their muscles. They coordinate what they do and gain mastery over their body. They stimulate their senses by playing with water, sand and mud.They acquire new social skills and develop how and when they should use them. They cope with complex and conflicting emotions by re-enacting real life. Parents of children who play imaginatively tend to get along with each other better than those who don't. Children who get enough time to play tend to get spanked less.Only children, who may be experiencing a feeling of loneliness, can get over this negative emotion through play with their friends. Team games give children physical contact, self - confidence and a chance to practice their social skills. Play offers socially acceptable ways for children to compete, to blow off energy and to act aggressively.


In many organised sports, children's rules get replaced by adult rules. When adults act as the referees, children do not learn how to settle disputes by themselves. Playing is a good way to spend unsupervised time for children who are often left alone at home. Through play, kids learn to share their things with each other. The feeling of possessiveness for a toy is replaced by the realisation that it is more fun to share. Our kids today do not get much of a chance to play. Their lives are too structured. As soon as they come home from school, they are whisked off for private tuition, followed by homework and hours of watching television or computer games. Many of them are hungry for a chance to play. As parents we have the responsibility of allowing them to enjoy their childhood before it just whizzes past them. We don't want them to grow up before their time. A time for play must be set aside and play must be a regular feature in your child's schedule. However, children must be taught the time to play and the time to work. . This can be enforced kindly but firmly. It may sound clichéd but eventually we all have to agree that all work and no play, does indeed make Jack a dull boy.




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