by Zsofia Kulcsar
When it comes to individual play, parents are having a hard time these days. Although that is how we grew up – playing by ourselves – we feel that we have to provide our children constant entertainment. It should not be so! Playing individually can benefit children’s development in many ways, from improving imagination to self-discipline and perseverance.
Time to introduce quiet time
The difficulties usually come when children get into the age of “not having afternoon naps” anymore. Which is shockingly around 2-3 years old these days (in England): parents suddenly have to fill out the nap-time. The best thing to do in my opinion is to introduce quiet time when the child drops his or her nap-time. Quiet time is incredibly beneficial, children can learn things at their own pace. Studies showed that children are much more likely to try to solve things if they have no teacher or parent around – as instead of looking for help they are just trying to figure things out themselves. Quiet time cannot be introduced straight away, it has to happen gradually and also we have to keep in mind children’s age and personalities. For toddlers, 10-15 minutes might seem forever, while older children can play up to 1-2 hours by themselves. Let your child get used to spending time by themselves by increasing their quiet-time weekly. (Of course, if they might need your help for going to the toilet and such.)