Tips for Special Playtime

Every day, try to spend at least 5-10 minutes playing with your youngster.

Begin with at least five minutes of focused play. When parents first begin employing praise, description, imitation, and active listening, they discover that it requires a significant amount of energy and effort. It is difficult to employ the abilities for more than five minutes. As your skill level grows, you may increase the amount of time you spend with your child during special playtime. Other pleasant time with your child, aside from the special playtime, is always beneficial to both you and your child. Reading before bed or snuggling while watching a favorite program, for example, are both vital in developing a strong bond with your child.

Be consistent with special playtime.

Try to schedule special playtime with your child at the same time every day. You and your child will have a better time if you select a time when you can concentrate on having fun, are not distracted by other activities, and the time is predictable. Maintain special playtime even if your child has had a difficult day. This is an opportunity for your youngster to get praise and attention from you for excellent behavior. It’s a wonderful way to show your child how much you adore him.

Allow your youngster to take charge of the play activity.

All day, young children are taught what to do.   They have few opportunities to grab the lead. If they are given time each day to learn the most about the activity and make decisions, they will feel more autonomous and confident.

Praise your child’s good behaviors.

Tell your child what you appreciate about what she is doing. When you reward desirable behaviors, your child will perform them more frequently. Make your praise precise so your youngster understands what you enjoy. To boost the impact of your praise, use hugs, high-fives, a pat on the head, or a pat on the back.

Imitate your child’s behavior.

Copy or imitate what your youngster does or says. Play with the same or a comparable toy and try to utilize it as your child does. When you copy your child’s behavior, your youngster will repeat it more frequently.

Describe what your child is doing.

Discuss your child’s actions in as much detail as possible. This is analogous to how a sports reporter or pundit could describe what is happening to someone unable to witness the activity. This demonstrates to your child that you are engaged in what she is doing and are giving her your undivided attention.

Be enthusiastic.

Demonstrate to your youngster that you are eager to play with him. If you’re not sure how to display enthusiasm, consider how your youngster behaves when he receives a new toy that he adores. You wish to act in such a manner. Enthusiasm shows your youngster that you are having fun with him. When you have fun, he will as well.

Reflect on your child’s words and emotions.

What your child says should be reflected or repeated back to you. Keep an eye on her actions and mirror what you believe she is experiencing. When you reflect on your child’s words and feelings, you demonstrate that you are actively listening to her and assisting her in understanding and dealing with her emotions.

Limit questions during special playtime.

When you ask a question to your child and anticipate a response, you are asking a question. Throughout the day, your child is asked several questions such as, “How was school, how old are you, and what are you doing over there?” We direct the dialogue by asking questions. Our inquiries may also indicate that we are not paying attention or that we disagree with what our child is doing. “Wouldn’t you rather play with the blocks?” for example, implies that you do not want to play with the toy your child has picked. “Why are you doing that?” implies that your child is doing something incorrectly.

Limit directions during special playtime.

Directions instructor steer your child’s actions. Directions might be direct, such as “give me the crayon,” or indirect, such as “how about using the pink now?” When you give your child instructions, they lose control. Remember that during special playing, the youngster should take the lead. If the youngster follows your instructions, she is not making decisions regarding the special playtime activity. And if the youngster disobeys, there may be a confrontation. We want special playtime to be a good experience for both the parent and the kid.

Limit criticisms during special playtime.

Criticism demonstrates that you disagree with something your child is doing. Words like “No,” “Don’t,” “Stop,” “Quit,” and “Not” are frequently used in criticism. For instance, you may tell your youngster, who is using a blue crayon and describing it as purple, “That’s not blue. You’re drawing with a purple crayon.” Criticism can sometimes be more direct: “That was a stupid thing to do” or “You definitely sound ugly whining like that.” When youngsters are frequently chastised, it can lead to low self-esteem. Criticism does not aid in the reduction of troublesome behaviors. There are several occasions during the day when you must employ the phrases “Stop,” “No,” and “Don’t.” This is fine. By avoiding these terms during special playtime, you and your kid will have more time to focus on the good.

Ignore minor misbehaviors during special playtime.

Minor problematic behaviors, like whining, should be ignored during special playtime. If your child is engaging in harmful or damaging conduct, stop it immediately and implement a penalty such as diversion or the withdrawal of a privilege. Remember that paying attention to any activity encourages it to occur more frequently. When you restrict your child’s attention following misbehaviors, you can reduce the likelihood that it will happen again


Article by

Rose .A. Milani,

Parent Coach and Registered Mental Health Counsellor

Based in Melbourne Victoria, Australia

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