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Monday, February 25, 2019

8 Ways That Play Promotes a Go-Getter Attitude!

Photo by Josh Davis (Flickr)

Some children are naturally focused, independent, and motivated, but other kids need help developing a go-getter attitude. Personally, I want both of my girls to become more confident as they make decisions, take risks, learn from failure, exercise self-control, and develop a winning attitude. If you want the same for your kids, let's use play. It promotes a go-getter attitude in eight ways.

Play Prompts Step-by-Step Learning

Almost every skill our kids develop depends on a step-by-step approach. For example, our kids must learn to hold a shovel and scoop sand before they can build a sand castle. Let's give our children time to play, and they'll learn the importance of mastering the basics and persevering through each level. This understanding equips them to tackle school and work projects in a methodical, step-by-step way.

Play Promotes Desire and Motivation to Master Concepts

My younger daughter is determined to run a half-marathon this summer, so she runs almost every day, follows a strict strength training regimen, and eats a balanced diet. Interestingly, I attribute her desire and motivation to free play. When our kids choose their playtime activities, they usually choose the activities they want to do and are then motivated to succeed. Play allows them to develop inner fortitude that propels them to continue mastering concepts even when playtime is over.

Play Provides Opportunities to Practice

Our children learn by repetition. The hours they spend kicking a ball or drawing sketches eventually leads to improved skills. Play provides the practice time our kids need to master skills and realize that success depends in part on their motivation and commitment to ongoing self-improvement.

Play Improves Executive Functioning

The prefrontal cortex of the brain controls our kids' ability to regulate their emotions, solve problems, and make plans. These and other executive functions develop through play. As kids choose playtime activities, learn to solve problems, and practice emotional regulation, they also develop skills that help them make wise decisions and succeed in their endeavors.

Play Encourages Kids to Weigh Risks and Rewards

When our kids bravely try new play activities like climbing a high jungle gym or learning a new game, they decide that the rewards of the activity are greater than its risks. The commitment to leave their comfort zone, embrace potential failure, and exercise independence will increase their ability and motivation to tackle new ventures and reach their goals in the future.

Play Increases Focus

My girls can stay entertained for hours when they're engaged in a fun, playful activity. Over time, this ability to focus also enables them to stay on track and complete tasks like school homework, band practice, and job responsibilities.

Play Develops Self-Sufficiency

I sometimes hear my girls complain of boredom, but solo play plays an important role in developing a go-getter attitude. Children need to trust themselves and feel confident about their abilities as they tackle projects in their personal lives and their careers. Playing alone gives our children opportunities to take initiative, exercise their imagination, and be responsible for their own success.

Play Enhances Decision-Making Abilities

As our kids play, they make multiple decisions. For example, they select which brush strokes to use, what card game to play, and how to design their indoor fort. These decisions lay the foundation for our kids to trust their instincts or realize they can adapt and make better decisions next time. Overall, our children become more confident, independent, and motivated as their decision-making skills improve through play.

With a go-getter attitude, our children can achieve almost any goal they set their minds to. We can cultivate this important attitude in eight ways as we encourage our kids to play. In what other ways do you promote a go-getter attitude in your kids?

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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