The opposite of play is not work.
Brian Sutton-Smith, The Ambiguity of Play
It’s on the long side, but you should totally check out this video, created by the Alliance for Childhood and KaBOOM!.
It features Dr. Ken Ginsburg, local pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia & author of Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings, and Dr. Marilyn Benoit, former president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Chief Clinical Officer at Devereux Behavioral Health.
The doctors speak to the consequences of less play in children’s lives (in 1997, kids aged 3-12 spent 16% less time playing than kids did in 1981):
- social isolation
- narrow concept of success
- afraid to think outside the box
- fear of failure
- stress, anxiety, and depression.
They also champion the benefits of play and really do a good job explaining how play is crucial for raising children who are resilient, creative, and kind.
My favorite bit is the discussion surrounding the need to redefine what success means:
“Success is being happy. Being kind. Being compassionate. Being generous. Being creative. And being innovative.”
What’s the best way to raise children for this sort of success?
Good questions. Good stuff. Watch it. Live it. Your kids will thank you.