— Helene Goldnadel Classes

Autonomy Is Enhanced Through Creative Play

A child’s interactions with others, his observations, his sharing of ideas with others help him to begin his reasoning skills. Autonomy is being able to select one’s course of actions without respect with those around him/her and his/her views. He/she is able to think for himself/herself. Autonomy is self-regulation. Autonomy is moral reasoning. Expressing ideas, observing adults and older children, and interacting with them help them to develop moral reasoning. Creative play and pretend play help children to act out scenarios, reason, and respond to others’ ideas.

 

Young children show affection and feelings of liking and disliking. Language is important in the development of social feelings. They learn what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. As a child is spoken to, there is an exchange of attitudes and values. This exchange can lead to mutual respect. The child learns the norms of society and how to act in appropriate ways.

 

Also read: Child Discipline – Tips and Important Reminders by Helene Goldnadel

 

According to Jean Piaget, a renowned child psychologist and child cognitive developmentalist, children become aware of rules early. They view rules as fixed, unchangeable and having been pronounced by those in authority, such as parents, teachers, or other significant adults. They have a hard time viewing other children’s accidents as accidents. Young children typically have not constructed concepts of intentionality. Young children between the ages of two and six years do not consider motives in their playmates actions. They are egocentric, believing everyone thinks the way he does and that he cannot see another’s point of view. A child’s thinking from his/her point of view is always logical and makes sense and he/her expects everyone to agree with him/her. As he/she continues to develop, egocentrism slowly fades but is renewed in a different form during cognitive development. Later he/she can empathize and understand, or start to understand his/her peers’ upsets and problems. His/her own experiences can help him/her understand his peers better.

 

Right and wrong can often be played out as children engage in creative play. They play out scenarios during dramatic play as they role play in dress-up costume play. They role play mom and dad in the home center and situations they have witnessed their parents experience. They judge what is right or wrong as they act out heroes and villains. As children engage in creative play, they make judgments. They may ask themselves, “What would the fireman do? Who started this fire? Was that the right thing to do? As a fireman, I need to help save people and put out the fire, so no one gets hurts.” As children play pretend dress-up and act out scenarios, they create dialogue, and improvise props, conversations, and script. They learn from each other, what is proper and what is not, what are the rules and mores associated with the situation they are acting out.

 

Puppet play also provides this same type of moral building education through child’s play. They make up stories and create a presentation for other or just for their own entertainment. As the children are engaged in developing their play or presentation, there will be discussion on what is right and proper, and what are the rules their characters will follow, and how the puppets will carry out their dilemma and problem solve the situation.

 

The development of the scenario help the children learn the mores of society, the rules to the game of life, and helps in the being less egocentric and able to feel and understand others’ points of view. This helps in the building of autonomy and doing the right thing without respect to counter influences around him. The rules of society and his family are reinforced through creative play and autonomy can begin to develop. By the age of six or seven years moral reasoning can be in place and autonomy developed.

 

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