Description: There seems to be an epidemic of stress and anxiety among emerging adults at college and university and we have, and will in weeks to come, look at research on this topic from many angles given its importance and timeliness? For now, let us have a developmental look at an aspect of early developmental experience that can make a big difference in how children learn to cope with stress and which lays solid foundations for later coping with stress and anxiety. What does the American Academy of Pediatrics prescribe to help children deal with stress and prepare them to cope with stress and anxiety later in their lives? Well play of course! Think about how you define play and then think about what play might provide children with in the way of positive experiences and developmental opportunities. Once you have a list in mind read the article linked below and see how the list generated there corresponds to your own.
Source: New AAP Report Recommends Prescription for Play, Katie Hurley, Worry-Free Kids, Psychology Today.
Date: August 22, 2018
Photo Credit: Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels
While you have likely heard about the importance of play in children’s cognitive and social development it is worth thinking more about the importance of play and particularly as a means for children to cope with issues that have been or are or are going to be stressful. As the article linked above details there are many things that children get from play that help them both in the present and in their developmental futures deal with stress and challenge. Initiatives such as the HOPE framework (see articled linked below in references) are intended to mitigate the negative developmental downstream impacts of Adverse Child Experiences (ACE — http://wileypsychologyupdates.ca/human-development/emerging-adulthood-and-adverse-childhood-experiences-two-new-ideas-come-together/ http://wileypsychologyupdates.ca/general-psychology/health-psychology/family-gatherings-as-opportunities-to-reflect-on-developmental-baggage/ ). So, play is developmentally good (vital) for children and it actually is not so bad for emerging adults or parents or adults of all ages too!
Questions for Discussion:
- Is play developmentally important?
- What sorts of things do children get from their play that could help them with stress both in their presents and in their futures?
- Should we invest money into programs like HOPE? Why or why not?
References (Read Further):
Yogman, M., Garner, A., Hutchinson, J., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R. M., & COMMITTEE ON PSYCHOSOCIAL ASPECTS OF CHILD AND FAMILY HEALTH. (2018). The Power of Play: A Pediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children. Pediatrics, e20182058.
Sege, R. D., & Browne, C. H. (2017). Responding to ACEs with HOPE: health outcomes from positive experiences. Academic pediatrics, 17(7), S79-S85. https://www.academicpedsjnl.net/article/S1876-2859(17)30107-9/fulltext
Morris, A. S., Robinson, L. R., Hays‐Grudo, J., Claussen, A. H., Hartwig, S. A., & Treat, A. E. (2017). Targeting parenting in early childhood: A public health approach to improve outcomes for children living in poverty. Child development, 88(2), 388-397. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5345847/