Home Family & SocietyFamily Dynamics The Best Gift to Give Your Children This Year

The Best Gift to Give Your Children This Year

written by Dr. Erin Leonard February 11, 2020
The Best Gift to Give Your Children This Year

Parents strive for the perfect gifts for their children, whether it’s for a birthday or holiday, yet, the most meaningful gift a parent can give a child is the gift of play. Forget teaching moments or quizzes about colors and numbers during play. Save counting and color reviews for a long car ride. Take a few minutes to join a child on the floor, observe what he or she is doing and reflect. “The race car is fast!” When a parent enters a child’s play space, he or she is entering a sacred space; the internal world of a child.

Pretend Play

Play is a medium through which a child works out his or her inner feelings, worries, and conflicts. Pretend play is often a way a child processes and masters past trauma. When a parent reflects and validates a child’s play, he or she is actually validating a child’s sense of self. This is very different from validating a child’s achievements. Recognizing a child’s performance does not affirm who the child is. When a parent solely validates a child’s achievements, the child often believes he or she is only as good as the next achievement. Many times the result is an anxious child who is a perfectionist.

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