MADISON (WKOW) — In this week’s Positive Parenting, let’s talk about something we all love to do with our kids: Play.
Researchers are finding that who plays with kids and how they do it, can have an impact on their social skills later in life.
This study looked at how parents played with their toddlers, specifically, something called intrusive play.
Intrusive play is when a parent takes away some choices.
For example: Dad stops a child from playing with one toy and says, “Let’s play with this instead.”
“Moms, when they’re intrusive, even though they are not as intense as dads, they really have a negative emotion. They’re frowning. They are unhappy. They are not smiling. Dads are intrusive, but they’re happy,” says developmental psychologist Natasha Cabrera.
Researchers found that the emotional tone of the play was more important than the activity itself.
For example, when moms were unhappy and intrusive, children were less sociable.
When moms were happy, children were more sociable.
Ultimately, researchers say by monitoring your expressions during play time, you can help your child learn self-regulation and better behavior.