Sunday, September 25, 2011

Play That Has Meaning is Sure to be Repeated

The roots of pro-social behavior such as nurturing, caring and sharing (better expressed as "taking turns") begin in pretend play as children practice affection and sympathy. Their expressions of anti-social behaviors like physical aggression, verbal abusiveness, and violence also play a valid part in make-believe.

Children need to, and will, be flexible in their pretend play to manipulate concepts they are just beginning to grasp.

Children will repeat actions and dialog over and over with or without modifications. They may act out something unfamiliar to cope with their fear and anxiety to gain more understanding and release negative energy, or they may relive very familiar joys and pleasures and release positive energy. Kids need to repeat situations again and again to minimize the accompanying negative or positive stresses. Kids will often exaggerate their roles. When playing "baby" they can express jealous feelings safely, and still recognize how much better it is to be the older sibling. This is their way of interpreting the known and unknown environments and trying out what they think is versus what really is.

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