среда, 9 ноября 2016 г.

Why a "Good Risk" is Necessary in the Play of Young Children

Can you imagine Masha from the Russian cartoon “Masha and the Bear” in the following situation: nothing is interesting for her during her visit of the bear Mishka; the new idea of Mishka to play chess, his decision to cook dumplings or a jam, his new hobby - tennis are out of the interest of Masha and she is only observing his activities without any emotions? I think, that the first reaction of Mishka in this situation would be connected with the desire to check Masha’s health and ask her: “Are You OK?”, because it is an atypical behaviour of Masha.
Masha is the image of a young child, who is curious, who wants to participate in the different activities, to play different games. It is a normal, typical behaviour of young children. “Actions, adventures, different events, which are following one by one, are expected by the child during his/her first six-seven years of the life. Imaginative heroes can fight against enemies, they can escape captivity, they can ride panthers, they can be in the captivity of the crazy gorillas, and they can dance around a beautiful New Year tree. One adventure is being replaced with ten others”.(K. Chukovskiy ). 
It seems that when adults condemn the curiosity of children and their spontaneous play which is often connected with a “good risk” and a “good fear”, they forgot their own childhood. 
But it was so cool to climb a tree with your friends and to discuss the different problems, to gather still green apples and run away under the shouts of neighbours: “You had to allow the apples to ripen at least!” 
To knock on the house door and run away, to visit the dark basement – these activities were considered the first level of the bravery. 
And how many kittens were rescued by the children: adults threw out newborn kittens, we found them, made small houses from the boxes  and nominated responsible children for kittens. 
At the same time, all children studied at music, art, and dance schools. But the children also found time for the play with a 'good risk' there: for example, before the class of solfeggio, we could read the ghost stories for children and then sat all lesson silently, without any movements. 
The most important thing in the described situations is that adults have never punished us. 
It was a real childhood which was not 'torn off' from the reality: very serious moments were in play and games too, because the war took place in the some parts of the country. And children-refugees (from the Chechen Republic and Karabach) played with us, participated in a creative play and ‘adventures’, thereby coming back to the normal life.
The modern children do not differ from the previous generations in this aspect: they are enraptured from the opportunity to feel a “good risk and fear', and there is no limit of happiness, when adults permit children to bring an old sofa, boxes, panels, to construct tent on the children's playground; 
when the tutor in the kindergarten participates in the game “Cat and Mice”, and children lie or sit in a total silence because they do not want to “be caught by a “tutor-cat”; 
when children play in a snow; 
or when in the summer hot day children are being watered from the hose for flowers. 

It is indisputable that it is necessary to be responsible for the health and the life of the child during play, but in any circumstances it is necessary to leave to the children at least 'the slice of the childhood' with a risky play and  harmless pranks, because the described play influences the following life, giving  the “feel of freedom' and optimism to the person.

Otherwise according to the researches we can meet with a teenager or an adult who did not feel a “good risk" in the early childhood, and now tries to compensate this fact by “play in a beautiful wrap”, but already absolutely unsafe for life and health of the players themselves and of the involuntary participants of this play (games in suicide, the trips on the roofs of trains, etc.). It is one of the reasons, why the participants of crimes are becoming younger. 
There is a necessity to rethink an early childhood:  instead of feeling fear of children's play, instead of  thinking about child through the prism of own complexes, adults must try to participate in children’s play and try to be involved in a sincere children’s happiness.

You can also read the following blog posts:
1."People need strokes, if they don't get them, their spinal cords will shrivel up". (E.Berne).
2. Freedom or Loneliness?

 Сибирева М.Ю. Как воспитать позитивный взгляд на мир. Детский сад: теория и практика № 7/2015.
Сибирева М.Ю. Социализация ребенка в век технологий// Детский сад: теория и практика, № 9, 2014.
Maria Sibireva (2014), Play Activity as the System of the Relations of Child with World, in M. Nicole Warehime (ed.) Soul of Society: A Focus on the Lives of Children and Youth (Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, Volume 18) Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.93-114. 

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