There is a constant stream of articles about children needing more time to just play. Sadly the schools seem to give the children less and less play time and when the school day is finished it is followed by after school activities. The child then probably has to go home to do their homework and then finally have a bit of down time before going to bed. We know ourselves that if we are constantly on the go and don’t have any time to ourselves we can get very cranky. I imagine it is the same for a child. Their behaviour starts to become challenging as they are always being controlled by an adult and always on the go. Children need down time either on their own or with friends, to just play with no interference from an adult. There can be ground rules set up before hand so that the child stays safe but if children don’t have this important unstructured play time then they miss out on important learning opportunities.
Our children are being rushed through life and parents are constantly worrying that their children aren’t performing as well as they should. They are compared to other children and we forget that each child has its own unique qualities to offer the world. What is important is to nurture these qualities.
Sadly not all children fit into the education system. They will not conform and so fail the system. Too many children come out of the school system with a belief that they are stupid and can’t do anything. This is a tragedy as all children have special gifts to offer and if we, the adults, don’t help them to find their gifts they will have a very limited and negative belief of themselves and we have failed them.
At holistic healing 4 children we are constantly seeing the rushed child. We have written a book called My Magical Garden and we use it in every session. The book gives the child a series of choices and at the back of the book there is a translation for their choices. Through this we find out what the child’s needs are. Time out is often the theme and when we talk to the parent they acknowledge that their child does an after school activity most days and sometimes even at the weekend. They are on the go the whole time.
One of the things that children love about our book is that they can make their own choices without anyone telling them what they should choose and they love the opportunity to be in control for a change
If you are finding that your child is presenting with challenging behaviour then take a look at how much they are doing during the week as this could be a contributing factor. Do they have enough unstructured play ? Remember that just because your friends children are coping with a busy life doesn’t mean that your child can. Some children are much more sensitive than others and absorb more negative energy from those around them. This could be your child.