Why I Don’t Push My Kids to Study but Play

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The Power of Play

I recently read an article on my Facebook feed that disturbed me. The title says “Kids are so over-scheduled that doctors are being told to prescribe play“. I think the pressure of turning our young kids into geniuses has never been so high especially in the age of social media where every award is celebrated over Facebook. And there is absolutely nothing wrong about that – I love seeing my friends’ kids achieving greatness at such an early age. It is definitely commendable! What I think is detrimental is how it affects the other parents seeing them and feeling pressured to enroll their kids in all these tutorials and classes so they won’t be “left behind”. We’re so caught up in this that we forget to let young kids be kids and enjoy themselves. To just PLAY.
And to those parents who think that play is frivolous, not contributing anything to kids’ development –  on the contrary mommas and poppas! As stated in the article, play is actually beneficial to so many aspects of kids’ development. I’ll quote the article as it states the importance of play best – “Research shows that play helps children develop language and executive functioning skills, learn to negotiate with others and manage stress, and figure out how to pursue their goals while ignoring distractions, among other things.” Play doesn’t only affect the kids during their early stages, they also actually bring these formed habits well into adulthood.
It is so powerful that recently – global power brokers, AI experts and global CEOs recently convened and argued that “free play encourages kids to develop agency, collaboration and creativity“. They believe it prepares children not just for school academics, but for employment and the rigors of workplace emotional drama.

“Play is crucial in establishing the foundations of social, emotional, and academic learning. Dressing up like Batman or building imaginary cities with blocks help young children cultivatecreativity, develop emotional intelligence and regulation.”

So yes friends, even just letting your kids play “bahay-bahayan” and “luto-luto” contributes a lot to to their development. So many parents now are wary of buying their kids toys (it doesn’t have to be sangkatutak!) and letting them play outside as they might get dirty, infected with disease or kidnapped (the last two being valid concerns naman that’s why we must be vigilant parin) but we are also letting them miss out on valuable lessons that might possibly be beneficial to them as adults.

There are four kinds of play, according to research:

*Taken from the article
  • Imaginative play, such as drawing, dancing, or playing with water, lays the foundations for creativity, allowing kids to express feelings, communicate, and experiment with reality.
  • Building with blocks or cardboard develops fine motor skills. It also helps kids to develop resilience, or grit (those block towers do fall down) and start reasoning and problem-solving (“How do I build a tower that does not fall down?”).
  • Chasing, hiding, jumping and wrestling build gross motor skills, the basis for which will be used to crawl and walk and run, not to mention persevere and think (exercise helps with memory consolidation).
  • Dramatic play (such as dressing up, role play, puppets, and storytelling) helps children with emotional regulation and critical relationship skills, including empathy, cooperation, and negotiation.
Check out who wants to join in on Ate’s tea time with her new friends.

With My Own Eyes

Whenever some people ask me how Selene is how she is – inquisitive, slightly independent, talkative, opinionated yet very in touch with her emotions and others’ – I look back and remember that I just truly let her play. I supported her interests, remained strict and a disciplinarian whenever she does something wrong and most importantly – at night, we talk about our feelings, thoughts and opinions before sleeping. Well, most nights when we don’t conk out of tiredness in a zap. I’ve never pushed her to study and “be super smart and know everything” because it takes away the joy of learning instantly.
Through play, she learns a lot about herself, dealing with others, imagining situations. Her stuffed toys – I used to think are useless and impractical – but seeing her gather them all up for her “tea parties” where she creates situations and conversations around them actually contributed to her talking skills and how she strings sentences and words together. Through Youtube (with supervised time), she has expanded her vocabulary which she uses during her ‘tea parties’. I hear her saying, “Was the tea satisfying, Holly?“, “Would you like to travel and see South Africa, unicorn?”” – which she got from her Youtube watching.
And all these is what Promil Four – her growing up milk – believes in as well. We all know Promil Four and its “Promil Kids” geniuses. But the brand goes beyond the belief that genius is what you drink or what you’re born with. Nope – they actually advocate play as a building block for kids’ development and believe that at this age, it is the best learning tool for kids to hone and craft their talents, skills and interests. I am super proud that the milk my daughter drinks believes in this kind of mindset which is perfectly aligned with my parenting beliefs as well.
In partnership with Promil Four but all stories are personal. All thoughts and opinions are mine as well.
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1 Comment

  1. Arselyn de Guzman-Intoy
    August 26, 2018 / 1:22 pm

    so true yan, yung social media ngayon laki na talaga ng effect sa parenting, na kesyo dapat ganito ganyan, etc etc! mai-stress ka lang pag pinansin.so ako dedma lang! hehehee! naniniwala kasi ako na every kid is unique and that they will unwrap their present at their own time! and ang importante saken nakikita ko si Zophie na happy, active and healthy. hinahayaan ko lang sya gawin yung mga gusto nya kahit ang kapalit nun eh napakaraming kalat sa bahay.hehe! minsan lang naman sila bata, kaya gusto ko maenjoy nya yung childhood nya.saka nakakatuwa na mawitness yung developments nya and mga natutunan nya thru playing alone and with her cousins. nagugulat na lang ako madalas, na alam na nya gawin yung isang bagay and minsan may mga sinsasabi nya while playing. btw, Selene is so adorable talaga. hands-down ako sayo Ms. Shari!

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