The Value of Playing as a Family - Premier Counseling
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Kids and family playing outdoors

The Value of Playing as a Family

By Megan Loney, EdS, LPC

With summer just around the corner, you may be thinking of some great activities to keep your kids busy. Don’t underestimate the value of playing together as a family. Kids love to play, and when you join your children, they’ll have an opportunity to communicate with and learn from you. If you’re struggling to develop a solid family unit or your child is having concerns at school, taking some time for play can make a big difference. Keep reading to learn a little more about the importance of playing as a family. If you and your kids need some support and guidance from our caring clinicians, consider joining me or another member of the Central Arkansas Group Counseling team for family therapy.

Kids Learn Through Play

From a very basic standpoint, play is an essential part of your child’s healthy development. Hand eye coordination teaches your child’s brain how certain mechanical movements work, and when kids see the results of their actions and movements, it builds your little one’s critical thinking and reasoning skills. As your child gets a little older, play can help them improve balance, develop social skills, and express difficult emotions.

Communication Modeling

As a parent, you may have heard of “play therapy.” Many adults think this sounds silly, but kids are much more likely to communicate openly through play. Young children, especially, can struggle with self-expression, and play can be an important tool to develop their ability to communicate. As you and your family play together, make sure that you’re speaking openly and encouraging kids to communicate. Simply unplugging and having a face-to-face conversation can be a tall order. These days, we’re all stuck to our phones. Lead by example here, and make sure you’re making an effort to talk. As counselors, we also know that talking can reduce stress and improve emotional health, so get kids talking.

Kids Need to See You Have Fun Too!

Kids are watching you to determine what being a healthy adult looks like. When they never see you having fun, kids might think that adults don’t get to have fun. Show your kids you enjoy having fun and playing games too.

Need More Tips for Playing as a Family?

If you want to learn more about the value of playing as a family or work with one of our experienced clinicians as your guide, don’t hesitate to contact us. I work with families on a regular basis to learn and grow together, and my peers offer a range of individual, couples, family, and group counseling services to help you and your loved ones lead your healthier, happier lives.

Photo by Rafaela Biazi on Unsplash