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June, 2009

Pretending . . .

Pretend play can be powerful because reality can be suspended. By suspending reality, children can level the playing field and even feel that they have the advantage. After all, though children can be very wise and insightful at times, there are some real frustrations that go along with being a child, namely being younger, smaller, …Continue reading

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Family rules about fighting . . .

Having clear family rules about fighting that hurts is important. A good place to set these rules is at a family meeting. Family meetings model communication with words, not fists. Working out problems through talking rather than physical fighting is supported by brain research that indicates if we can learn to put very strong feelings …Continue reading

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Trying times with toys . . .

Children can be passionately possessive of a toy, and a couple brain-based reasons are behind their feelings of ownership. First, emotional attachment releases opioids in the brain—even if the attachment is to a toy. A child gets a sense of well-being when playing with that special something. If the toy is taken away for any …Continue reading

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Follow the leader . . .

Children love it when a parent will play with them, and child-led play builds a strong emotional bond. When children lead parents in play, opioids—the natural chemicals that give us a general sense of well-being—are activated in their brains. Child-led play has been found to reduce levels of stress as well as aggressive behavior. Such …Continue reading

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