20100617

PLAY





Almost for 3 years, iza swims every week all year round ...

Remembered her first lessons, she whined. Refused to even make a move. Just stood there ... for the whole course of time. I could not figure out what happened to this brave little child who extremely loved to play with water ... till she told me on her 4th lesson ...

" It is not playing. You need to follow every instruction.
Many children think it's fun ... but I don't think so. "

Her interpretation on playing stroke me and made me recall this incidence.
She was asking for toys which were without instructions. In her words, these were the play dough, papers, pencils ...
At that moment, I just felt this child need more freedom.

To me, playing was anything apart from work or school ... I did not aware the significant difference between playing with and without "instruction" or "guidance" ... Especially, in these days we all emphasize on learning through playing ... eventually, we have lots of intellectual games and toys for our children. We hope they will be intellectually trained up through playing. We maximize the benefits of playing ... and we forget something.

Till one day (at the time iza was 5.5Y already) i came across play therapy ... this made me rethink what is "playing" ...

"Play therapy is generally employed with children aged 3 through 11 and provides a way for them to express their experiences and feelings through a natural, self-guided, self-healing process. As children’s experiences and knowledge are often communicated through play, it becomes an important vehicle for them to know and accept themselves and others. "

Apart from our die hard belief in intellectual toys, we are so passionate on teaching our children through their creative playing. We are so eager to demonstrate on how to construct a car with Lego, make a little rabbit with play dough, draw something which look like what we think it ought to be like ... We do like to interpret what our children's act on their imaginary play and creations before they tell us ...

Playing without "instruction" or "guidance" is a kind of self-guided playing. Through the process, the children create their own rules, follow their feelings and emotions, flow with their imaginations ... it is a platform which they actualize their thoughts. Through actualization, they come to realize themselves. The more we intervene, the least they assert themselves.

There is a sense of alienation of emotions in those highly designed toys. The simplest "toys" allows the maximum interpretation and imagination. "Toys" can be anything. That might be the reason we enjoy least in those highly designed "theme parks"... feeling being constricted ...
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15 comments:

Yanyan said...

Never get tired of looking at Iza, always in style, really amazed how tall she has grown, I remembered when I first discovered your blog, she was still a little girl.

Happy dragon boat festival

ayshik мама said...

totally agree with you on this matter. kids need freedom, that's why we left our early learning school, too much instructions, i am thinking of trying montessori. thanks for a nice article.
i really don't understand why most of the parents here think that lessons with a strict instructor will get their child disciplined. the dancing lessons, karate, swimming..

ayshik мама said...

Alliot, i wonder how Iza's room looks like, i am sure it's something outstanding with your design skills :) would you mind to share it?

Heidi said...

Yes, playing is not only an important part to kids but to all of us. It allows us to think out of the box, to create things that supposed to be impossible in the so-called "learning environment".

Thank you for sharing with us, Alliot.

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Q lives for swimming lessons. But she is never as stylish as this in the pool. Gorgeous!

Evelyne said...

Je suis tout à fait d'accord avec toi, aujourd'hui les enfants n'ont plus le temps de jouer librement et pourtant c'est indispensable de passer par le jeu pour évacuer le trop plein d'informations reçues et pour aussi se faire des représentations justes des choses de la vie courante.

Yoli said...

Our children are in a Montessori school. I could not agree with you more on this subject. I think Iza is the well rounded child that she is because of the freedom you give her imagination and play.

She looks lovely and swimming is so important, it is one of those life skills that every parent must teach their child. I work in an emergency room and I cannot tell you have many children have died because they have not known how to swim.

kenza said...

Oh! how much I agree! Petit Caramel have very few toys and with most he plays as he likes. No mechanical toys at all and all are in wood or natural material. Yes you are right, letting the child's imagination take the lead is so important and at the end I think makes them so happy!

mir said...

Thanks...

linen and milk said...

Your blog is so beautiful !!! I love it ❤❤

Jeanne-ming said...

Alliot,
After reading your last couple posts it has really struck me what is your purpose in life. I hope you will write a book or lecture or continue with this blog to show the way for so many parents struggling in Asia to raise healthy and balanced children. I find it incredible and ironic that it is IZA who is showing you the way through her incrediblly articulate words and spirit.

Thankfully she has a mother who listens.

Fei An said...

I am so "embarrassed" to say that I guess I am the only one complains that the school and kid garden environment is too "loose" here in Norway, not much instruction at all in general. In the meanwhile, I don't know how to be "instructive" and "strict" on my side. I don't buy the girls so many "intellectual toys" because I don't know much of them. However, we do buy them some toys:) Gradually, I found them start to make toys using paper, yarn, branches, cloth...anything to make things, and I think that is good. Plus, Anja is more interested to do the adult thing recently, make her self sandwich, for example, some times. What is my point? My point is that raising children in a natural way and not overdoing it can, sometimes, have better result in terms of "imagination" and "creativity".

alliot / iza said...

Dear ayshik mama,
we do not have a special room designed for iza ...
i feel ashamed ... we live in a studio flat which was originally designed for 2 persons only ...
After iza was born, we just added more furniture but without special decoration for a child. She just adopted what were there. Plain.
We are planning to renovate our place ...
I actually do have an idea. And, may also adopt some ideas from which we have for her play room in our office.
In the place room, we have a blackboard wall ... a hugh sink like the laboratory ( i love so much to have a sink in the room, so care free to do all drawings) ... a big table ... a cork board wall ... row of bookshelves ... and converted a window into a slide. She can climb up the window sill and slide down to the balcony.
I'm still thinking ...

alliot / iza said...

Dear Jeanne Ming,
I miss you. Thank you so much for your kind words!!!
You have read my strong feeling on the irony ... is IZA who shows me the way.
And, how ironic is that, her primary school teachers think she has difficulty in articulating her thoughts ...
one of them got surprised when i told her that iza loves to talk and talk A LOT.
I wonder do they allow some time to listen to a child ... if yes, they may hear a lot more than they do. At the same time, I understand that I shouldn't expect too much from school.
But i'm so glad all friends here have more patience ...
Your lovely words have driven me to write the little post today :)

TherapyTribe said...

Hi

Play therapy helps counselor to understand the behavior of child and helps to improve their mental as well as physical well-being.

Thanks !