Why Doctors are Being Told to Prescribe Play

If you followed healthcare news over the summer, you may recall that pediatricians are being encouraged to prescribe play for children’s development. This isn’t just a fad—the American Academy of Pediatrics has actually done a lot of work to find out how play helps and if American kids are getting enough of it. The result? Many children aren’t getting the chance to play, and they are missing out on some important skills as a result. In the psychology field, child behavior psychologist incorporate a wide variety of tools to help children express themselves and learn, including a variety of play elements. In fact, there is a high demand for children’s play therapy in Highlands Ranch because play works! Read on to find out how play helps all sorts of kids.

Creativity and Critical Thinking

Today’s children are getting more hours of school, more hours of extracurriculars, and less original with every passing year. Now, colleges and universities are looking for rarities like creativity and critical thinking, which can be developed in play! From using a comb as a tiny ladder to building a bridge out of playing cards, play offers a chance to build these skills naturally.

Social Skills

Even when your child plays alone, social skills can grow. Particularly for children who play with “characters” (be those stuffed animals, action figures, LEGO people, or paper cutouts), social skills can grow as children explore conflict, resolution, and alternatives.

Language Development

Ever listen quietly from another room while your child plays? Those make-believe stories, voices, and sound effects are fodder for funny videos, but also offer your child an important outlet to try new words and phrases and explore communications in a setting where nobody will judge him.

Downtime

We want our kids to learn… but all work and no play makes a child dull, bored, irritable, or disruptive! Your child is likely in school for 6-8 hours a day and doing homework as well—allowing time to play is the equivalent of your boss “allowing” you to go home and relax on the weekends. Promote good self-care by encouraging play and downtime.

Ready to play? Your child sure is! Independent playtime is great, but if your child invites you to play, remember to be a good “guest” and follow her lead, get engaged, and have fun. For help using play to address problem behaviors and emotional upset, consult with a skilled play therapist in Littleton and Highlands Ranch.


Why Limits Strengthen Your Relationship

Many couples come seeking couples therapy in Littleton with goals of getting closer and feeling the love they once felt in their relationship. So, when their couples therapist tells them each to set limits, it can be pretty confusing! However, limits are important for many reasons, and today we will review these reasons.

Limits Make You Consider Your Needs and Values

Just the process of setting limits is important, as it forces you to consider your needs and values. Do you value your hour of quiet time in the morning to reflect and revitalize? Do you need to get enough sleep at night to feel awake and productive the next day? When you start to set limits, you are asking yourself “how can I make my life better?” Of course, limits aren’t just about time or space—they can be limits on how you are treated or interacting with others.

Limits Battle Resentment

The challenge with resentment is that most people feel resentful when they have allowed others to walk all over them—even if the other person didn’t realize this was what was happening! Many people seek counseling in Highlands Ranch not only to change their relationship, but to change their feelings of resentment and frustration. Since nobody should be expected to be a mind-reader, setting limits makes these needs and values clear.

Distance Does Make the Heart Grow Fonder

If one partner wants to spend literally every moment together and the other is clawing for time alone, limits can be a good way to claim a little distance. Remind those you love that your limits help you to feel calmer, more present, and more loving to everyone in your life—so when you set limits, you are coming back to that relationship more engaged and active.

Ready to set effective limits today? Remember to start by looking inward, and if you need help making limits stick or navigating your relationship, consult with an expert in couples therapy today.