Time spent by parents playing with their children is not only beneficial to children. It can be very helpful for adults too. Because while playing with a child, positive things happen in the face of the changes that occur in the brain and body—the oppressive rigidity and repetition experienced in adult life.
This can happen in any game. For example, positive effects can be obtained regardless of the type of play, not only in general activities such as making Lego, video games and sports, but also in daily activities such as baking, dog bathing, and improvisations such as pillow fights.
In this context, the American cable news CNN online version introduced that adults need more play. In the first place, humans were created to play, and by play. Dr. Stuart Brown, director of the National Institute of Play and author of Play: How to Shape Your Brain, Unlock Your Imagination, and Revitalize Your Soul, says: “Play is inherent in our nature, preserved through evolution over time, and has much to do with the social survival of humans as a species.” It is explained that through play, humans can feel a bond with the community and learn to cooperate with each other.
According to Dr. Brown, play is ‘as-is’ and not a special activity. Play captures our attention, gives us pleasure, and changes our sense of time and place. And in play, the experience is more important than the outcome.
Leisure, play and life-changing magic
Modern people have an unhealthy relationship with time. Their obsession with productivity, work, and self-optimization is driven by responsibilities and preoccupied with the feeling of not being able to do enough all the time. To make matters worse, many believe that this is the result of personality flaws rather than social structural flaws.
But through play, we ask ourselves these questions. Who I am when I’m not working or making no money, what my brain does, etc. In other words, play can help you disconnect, get off the treadmill, and stop feeling ashamed of yourself for being unproductive.
There are also other reasons. Studies have shown that play can offset the anxiety of thinking ‘you’re never going to be good enough’. Play can help you cope with stress and improve your overall well-being.
“For adults, play is absolutely necessary for adults to feel optimistic about the future and to stay in a good mood even through hard times,” says Dr. Brown. Like sleep deprivation, lack of play has negative long-term consequences. It is therefore argued that play should be viewed as an essential public health obligation for children and adults.
children know how to play
For those who want to play but can’t shake off their obsession with efficiency, children are the best teachers. By playing with their children, parents can unleash their long-pressed playful side.
“Play is a symbol of childhood,” said psychologist Allison Gofnick. “Play is a vivid and visible expression of imagination and living learning.” Through play, children excel in their ability to use their imagination and formulate hypotheses, on par with the greatest scientists.
According to Goffnick, adults use their knowledge and experience to make the best decisions as better ‘users’, while children are more likely to try new ideas as better ‘explorers’. Faced with a changing social or physical environment, adults can make small changes to what they have already learned or to support their actions and plans. In contrast, the next generation of children will be much more free to think of different plans with the data they already have, which will allow them to make broader and more accurate predictions.
There are benefits to transitioning from childhood inefficiency to adult efficiency, but you may also lose something in the process. Efficiency can get you through day to day, but for the same reason, it becomes difficult to return to your free spirit, openness, and inquisitiveness.
But watching children’s play remind adults that life is full of possibilities. If you can let go of your pride or worries, play will be a joy for adults.
Reporter Lee Bo-hyun [email protected]
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