Play is the Elixir of Life

There is lots of research to support the idea that dedicated and regular parent/child play time (on the child's terms) supports positive attachment, self-regulation, self-esteem, and creativity. It's also a lot of fun once you get into the swing of it.

In my experience working with families, there are three things that fundamentally support you and your child as a co-regulating team: 1) parents structuring 30 minutes of one on one "child directed" play, 3 times per week with their child; 2) a parent/child collaborative family meeting once a week, and 3) a once a day breathing, positive visualization or other mindfulness practice for your child either at bedtime or during a rest period. These things will go miles and miles in supporting a positive parent/child experience.

Here's an article based on the work of Garry Landreth, Ph.D, a well-known researcher and writer in the field of child play therapy. He coined the term "child directed play" to highlight the value of following the child's lead at times.