Playing as it relates to children, families, and a description of how it relates to Family Engagement and why it is important
Playing makes children active. It makes children engage their whole bodies and explore their surroundings with all senses (Rani and Vijayany, 2012). This shows that playing has a critical role in the lives of children. Thus, playing becomes an integral part of learning and character development among children. Psychologists believe that parents should let their children play freely. In family engagement, playing is a social necessity, which the family should support among their children.
On this note, the increasing numbers of studies suggest that effective family engagement in children can aid their early learning and later success in academic and adult life. Scholars have looked at family engagement in relation to children’s participation in early education and other programs. Psychologists believe that parents should allow their children to play in order to become responsible. Parents must stimulate play, provide free space away from their oversight, offer playing equipment, and leave children alone. In case children fail to play, they may not be creative, compassionate or communicate effectively.
Opportunities for children to play outside freely have dwindled in developed nations. This decline has negative consequences for children in relation to “mental, physical, and social development” (Gray, 2011).
How playing may influence young children’s development and learning, teacher’s interest, and family engagement in early childhood development and learning
For the past decades, psychologists have investigated play and its contribution to personality development, learning, and cognitive development. Consequently, they have concluded that playing is critical for personality development among children. This entails both emotional and psychological developments in children. In this respect, children expose themselves to aspects of life that nobody can teach them because they explore their surroundings freely and interact with nature. Thus, children orient themselves to world values and meanings as they strive to explore, experiment, and learn in their own way. Through playing, children discover and practice complicated aspects of life and communication. These aspects are critical for engagement in later adult social life.
There are also psychoanalytical aspects of playing among children. Freudians assert that playing is the means by which children use to exert control, proficiency and resolve conflicts that take place in their lives. In this case, children experience overwhelming aspects of life, which can lead to confusion, or repulsive and intricate. Playing offered children opportunities to re-experience intricate and threatening life events. As a result, children could control them. Thus, playing acts as a form of therapy for children as they master and exert control over threatening events.
Studies have shown that family engagement is necessary for developing family well-being and learning in children. Family engagement involves a constant and shared collaboration between children and parents in early childhood learning and development.
Teachers must understand family engagement in relation to children’s learning from many perspectives. Early childhood education has promoted many families to take part in decision-making processes regarding their children’s education. Thus, family engagement is a form of advocacy for children from their parents in early childhood education. The teacher should encourage communication between the family and their children in order to enhance children’s educational experiences and other processes of development (Marcon, 1999).
Family engagement in early childhood learning should involve sharing and exchanging unique experiences and skills by engaging in schools activities that promote children’s development. Teachers can use information from parents about their children to understand their families, lives, and communities. Teachers can then integrate such information in their teaching activities.
Family engagement in an early childhood education program should aim to develop and sustain learning activities in children, which promote learning at both homes and communities (Henrich and Gadaire, 2008). This can improve children’s learning abilities. Family engagement should include the creation of an environment that can support children’s learning at home. Teachers must encourage families to participate and establish such activities at school too.
Teachers have a role to play in family engagement. Families and educators must work as a team in order to create and establish conditions that can enhance children’s development both at school and at home (Halgunseth, Peterson, Stark and Moodie, 2009).
The key issue related to playing that is significant, influences, and supports children and families
Children development is a key theme related to playing. Playing in children contributes to “the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children” (Ginsburg, 2007). Parents also have the best chance to engage with children completely in playing. Play allows children to develop their creativity and healthy brains. Children learn to interact with their worlds by play. This prompts children to develop confidence, competencies, and resilience required for later adult life.
Playing should be children driven. This would allow children to develop skills in teamwork, sharing, resolving conflicts, learning self-advocacy and negotiation, and decision-making skills. As a result, children learn to develop their own interests and pursue their passions. Ideally, parents should participate in playing with children. However, parents should not dominate such activities with their rules. Thus, playing in children should be unstructured.
Playing in children is also critical for their academic performance and environment. Teachers must ensure that the school environment promotes playing, which should develop the social, emotional, and physical aspects of children.
Despite the advantages, children and parents gain from playing, playing activities and time have declined significantly in many families. This is due to changes in “lifestyle, family structures, and increased attention to academics and enrichment activities at the expense of recess or free child-centered play” (Ginsburg, 2007). Thus, teachers and parents must develop effective methods of promoting play in children at both homes and schools.
Communication barriers anticipated during the interview and strategies to eliminate them
One is likely to face diversity in language and aspects related to cultural backgrounds during an interview. The interview is important across different cultures because various cultures have attached different meanings to playing. Thus, the investigator will face barriers related to language. In addition, the investigator may also experience cultural barriers among parents who might share the same language with him.
For instance, mothers may not directly communicate face-to-face with the investigator. He must also identify preferred means of communication during the interview because families who do not speak the researcher’s language well may have challenges in understanding written communications or telephone conversations because they may not experience non-verbal cues in these modes of communication.
The investigator can overcome challenges related to communication barriers with a translator. He may also have all written communications translated to native languages of targeted families. The translator must accompany the researcher to visits. The researcher should also ask families about their preferred modes of contact before the interview begins. These may include face-to-face, e-mail, telephone, or written modes.
Ginsburg, K. (2007). The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds. Pediatrics, 119(1), 182 -191. Web.
Gray, P. (2011). The Decline of Play and the Rise of Psychopathology in Children and Adolescents. American Journal of Play, 3(4), 443-463. Web.
Halgunseth, L., Peterson, A., Stark, D., and Moodie, S. (2009). Family Engagement, Diverse Families, and Early Childhood Education Programs: An Integrated Review of the Literature. Web.
Henrich, C., and Gadaire, D. (2008). Head Start and parental involvement. Infants and Young Children, 21(1), 56-69. Web.
Marcon, R. (1999). Positive relationships between parent school involvement and public school inner-city preschoolers’ development. School Psychology Review, 28(3), 395-412. Web.
Rani, S., and Vijayany, P. (2012). Efficacy of play Therapy in Developing Concepts Among Children with Moderate Intellectual Disability. Global Research Analysis, 1(7), 42-43. Web.