“Floor time” does not have to occur on the floor. Floor time simply refers to time spent interacting with your child on his or her own turf, where your child’s interests, resourcefulness, and thoughts are considered. When you play on a level that is eye to eye, which is often on the floor, you generate a sense of shared space.

Floor time has many benefits, one of which is the promotion of emotional expression. The pretend play that occurs during shared play time with your child provides a safe place for your child to feel, express, and modulate a full range of feelings. Children can feel full of joy at an accomplishment and also full of frustration when a block tower tumbles. The warmth, empathy, and support you offer your child during play combined with loving and consistent limits in real-life situations are great avenues for your child to learn that feelings such as anger can exist right along with feelings of love.

Parents have an opportunity to be their child’s coregulator of emotions and act as a sort of synthesizer. Through your engaged attention, empathy, and guidance, your child will learn about all feelings and how to manage them as he or she experiences a variety of feelings within one relationship.