The Power of Play in Strengthening Parent-Child Relationship

Although the Media, the Internet, the TV, and the new technology offer a lot of entertainment, education as well as convenience to our families, parents should always be the ones that have the most influences on our young children. Being able to influence our young children helps set the stage for negotiating with our teenagers in later years. We can influence our children and gain their trust when we have a strong relationship with them.

All relationships building requires times, effort, energy and investment. The ingredients for long lasting relationships are understanding, being valued, care, attention, trust, respect, fun, love, humor and forgiveness. When we fall in love with someone – we often feel cared for, loved, respected and understood, etc.

How can someone show to us that they understand us?
It is by entering into our worlds and seeing things from our perspectives.

How can someone show to us that they care about us?
It is by giving us time, attention and love.

How can someone show to us that they respect and value us?
It is by not always correcting our choices or criticizing us.

Through play, parents can offer children understanding, care, attention, respect, value and love. Parent-child relationship can also be strengthening by play. Play can promote many different developmental tasks and learning. Play can always be a positive experience for our children. There is often no right and wrong in creative and imaginative play in young children. The concept of right and wrong often happens in board games or structural game with rules & instructions. If parents could get down on the floor and play with their children since young, this sets an easier stage for parents to bond with their children, to enforce limits setting outside play time, to influence their children convincingly.

Play can help parents to bond with their children through:

  • Understanding their children’s feelings and perspectives of the world
  • Responding to their children’s various emotions or challenging behaviors
  • Enjoying playing with their children and spending quality time together
  • Encouraging their children’s co-operation and respect of limits
  • Positively influencing their children more easily and readily
  • Encouraging responsibilities & adaptive behaviors
  • Encouraging development of social and relational skills
  • Encouraging creativity & problem solving skills
  • Showing empathy & Respect for others
  • Showing understanding & acceptance towards their children

There are many other lessons that play can also offer to our children:

  • Responsibilities & adaptive behaviors
  • Reasoning, Logical thinking, Cognitive development & Intellectual growth
  • Development of social and relational skills
  • Flexibility, creativity & problem solving skills
  • Decision making & consequences learning
  • Self-confidence & self-determination
  • Experience & expression of feelings
  • Empathy & Respect for others
  • Understanding & acceptance of past and current experiences
  • Physical growth, exercise & motor development
  • Development of self-soothing & calming abilities