Play is an integral part of a child’s life and development. Play therapy for children allows the therapist to engage on a very neutral level and start building trust. Kids tend to express themselves more freely while playing and the therapist can implement strategies to promote positive behavior, improved communication, problem solving and other important skills. Play therapy can be very beneficial for children who have difficulty with:
- Acting out
- Following directions
What is Play Therapy?
Play therapy is not just for children with autism. It can support more positive behavior in children struggling with a wide range of issues or conditions. The therapist actually gets down on your child’s level and will often observe them playing with different toys and then interact with them in play. Toys are used to help children act out their feelings and problems when they may have trouble putting them into words. Through play, the therapist helps your child to overcome negative behaviors or thoughts and work through challenges that they may be facing.
Behavioral topics addressed by play therapy can include:
- Creating schedules/routines for your child and family
- Handling noncompliant/oppositional children
- Completing or following through with directions
- Reducing emotional outbursts
- Learning how to “talk” with your child
How Play Therapy at PediaPlex helps your Child Improve their Behavior
Play therapy at PediaPlex can help your child improve their behavior by instilling boundaries, teaching more appropriate responses to different situations, and helping them to express themselves in a more constructive way. Sometimes hitting, kicking and acting out occur when your child does not know how else to deal with what they are feeling or work out problems. The therapist uses play, which is a comfortable and natural environment, to work through these challenges and teach better social skills.
The therapist may visit your home and observe some of the routines, situations, and responses that take place so they know what needs to be addressed during play therapy. They will also gather your input on what you’re seeing at home versus what the teachers say about school, and help to build more cohesive approaches to improved behavior. You’ll be able to consult with them on making changes that work best for your family and your child.
How Play Therapy for your Child will help with Home-Life and in other Environments
The strategies used at PediaPlex for play therapy are transferable to home-life and other environments as well. As a parent, you’ll learn how to use play to connect with your child and how to continue instilling the behaviors that the therapist has taught across different situations. When you know how to alleviate tense or stressful situations, redirect your child, or help them to express their thoughts and feelings in a more appropriate way, it can make for more peaceable living. It can also build a stronger relationship between you and your child when communication takes place more effectively and constructively, and you’re connecting through activities that they enjoy.
If your child has been kicked out of preschool, is always throwing toys and having outbursts, or just struggles with negative behaviors, play therapy at PediaPlex could be a valuable option. Take a moment to fill out our intake form and let us know what you’re seeing and what your concerns are. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible to discuss the benefits of play therapy for children and if it could be the right therapy to address your child and family’s needs.