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The profound Benefit of Unstructured Play in combination with Peaceful Conflict Resolution.
May is a month dedicated to Mommy.
PET Las Vegas offered some so called Play-Care “May-Days’ with the theme “Give Mommy a Break”.
What a wonderful Play-Care days we had!
While the Mommy’s took a break, the children got as much freedom as possible. Besides that they were able to be creative with toys and the elements water and sand and using all their senses, Peaceful Conflict Resolution was practiced at stress moments. Trading, out of empathy, while standing up for one’s own need, was proposed.
(“Let’s see if we can find something else she would like, so-that it is easy for her to give the light saver back to you” and guess what, a regular bucket seemed to be a good deal…)
Clear communication helped children shifting:
“The crayons are for outside”;
”That toy is too hard for throwing (while moving it out of the ‘throwing-area’) ;
“Oops,I do not want water here” (followed by action of moving the blanket away; or turning the head of the watering can)
There was a lot focused concentration.
Making music together developed natural; the bodies, moving with it with intense emotions, singing.
Painting was understanding paint, the mixing, the structure, the feel, pouring, the colors, painting with your whole body…moving while smearing, tapping, seeing, mixing the colors..
There was plenty loud laughter, finding the borders of enthusiasm, developing/creating their own games. There was discovering how high this enthusiasm can develop while one can still be in control of one’s body and actions.
(The throwing of balls/hopping from a bench on the trampoline/running after each other with increasing laughter and speed… slip and fall, a little hurt, getting back up and continue….)
There were the science-mastering games: running up and down with water and watering whatever you encounter…pushing the sides of the pool down and the thrill of the water streaming out; sliding in the pool.
How easy could these actions been seen as ‘mischievous’ or ‘destructive’. If we take the label off of this, then we can understand and even giggle about it at moments. Like when a child ‘quickly’ whistles a loud whistle in the crack of the door after understanding that the whistle was too loud for our ears inside the house.
We do not need to overpower them with: “What did I say?” and taking the thing away in anger and upset, calling him a bad boy.
Because all he was doing was being in the flow of creativity and wanting to incorporate us.
The flow of creativity is called “FREE-FLOWING”.
Free-flowing is a skill on purposely re-awakened and developed in Dance and in the Performing Arts and in journaling. It helps you expanding your creativity, your awareness of the elements, your being, seeing the other beings in a different way than how we move along side each other on a day to day basis. It is necessary for an artist to perceive the world multi-dimensional.
If we can let young children expand in Free-flowing we give them a survival basis. The survival basis of knowing with their mind and body that they can come up with solutions for problems they are encountering; that they will tackle them with joy, expanding, inventing, masterminding.
If this free-flowing is practiced with peaceful conflict resolution skills, the children will stay flexible and open to ideas and needs of others. They can use the human innate need for community and care for each other.
Their survival skills are not only for them personally to survive; the skills are used to thinking/living WITH each other instead of being trained to be competitors as we are taught to believe.
If we can step away from being competitors and care for each other, while we expand in play, we may lead ourselves to more understanding and peace. Let’s not cut children off from this by punishments and rewards. Let’s nurture and assist their being with peaceful communication.