Dr. James D. MacDonald's Website
Helping Parents Help Children. Programs for Parents, Therapists & Educators
Guidelines for Keeping Childlike Play Going
- Start with anything safe and socially acceptable that your child does. (This does not mean your child has to play in age-appropriate ways.)
- Watch what he's doing first.
- Then quietly join in his activity.
- Keep your talking down and your actions and sounds up; in fact, being silent may sometimes help you both focus on the play.
- Try to be like your child. Move when he moves; sound when he sounds.
- When in doubt as to what to do, imitate your child. You will get his attention and may start an interaction going.
- When acting like your child, change what you are doing slightly, then see what he does.
- Give him time to do things on his own.
- Be sure you and he are in the same activity.
- Try to do only about as much as your child does; remember to balance your actions, sounds and words with his.
- Make yourself more interesting than the things that distract your child. This means being inventive and creative-- even being silly is effective.
And, very importantly, Keep him there with you a little longer than he usually stays. In new activities, keep him only briefly to give him a successful introduction to them. Becoming Partners with Children, Dr. Jim MacDonald (page 75)
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