We do most of our playing using the right brain, the right hemisphere is the artistic and creative center, in the first five years of life.
Then we go to school and learn the power of the left brain, the analytical learning center. The problem is then we leave the right brain totally behind. That’s when life also starts to get tough.
Research has shown that playful behaviour indulged in by young children is critical for their development. If kids haven’t worked out the emotional issues appropriate to each stage and haven’t been allowed to be kids, there may be problems later in life.
Children haven’t yet learned to be limited so if they are able to express their unrealized self through play they will unconditionally grow in self acceptance.
In our home, there was spontaneous play – even and especially when times got a bit bumpy.
I remember a poem that had a great impact on me but I don’t recall the author. The poem goes like this:
“I tried to teach my child with books but he gave me puzzled looks. I tried to teach my child with words, they passed him by often unheard. Despairingly I turned aside. How can I teach this child, I cried. Into my hand, he put the key. “Come,” he said. “Play with me.”
When play can be understood as comforting, adventurous and spontaneous, it is morally valuable, actually the stepping stones into security, confidence and the meaning of love.
It is so overlooked that sometimes it gets lost in the foundation of personhood.