Raleigh, NC – Play is a powerful tool that helps build healthy brain architecture in children. It helps them grow physically, teaches them how to get along with others, and fosters creativity.
During Child Abuse Prevention Month, Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina (PCANC) is encouraging parents to discover the power of play. Children need positive interaction with the key adults in their lives, and playing together offers parents and children a way to have these interactions in a fun atmosphere.
One of the best ways to reap the benefits of play is to let the child take the lead. According to the Incredible Years Parenting Program, parents can give their children an average of 17 commands in a span of 30 minutes. Resisting the urge to direct children during play allows them to use their imaginations and aids in the development of decision making and problem solving skills.
The focus during play should be on the child and not the game. To assist in letting go of the lead role, parents should give positive commentary on what the child is doing, similar to the way a sports announcer would comment on a sporting event. They can make comments such as: “You are working hard to build that house,” and “I see that you have placed all of the circles in a row.”
“When parents take the time to play with their children, it builds healthy brain architecture and strengthens family bonds,” said Rosemarie Allen Ryan, PCANC President and CEO. “Strong families who provide supportive, nurturing environments for children are critical to successful communities.”
PCANC is the statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect in all forms. Through evidence-based and promising family strengthening and parenting programs, public awareness, and professional education, PCANC works to ensure every child has a healthy childhood and the opportunity to grow up to be a caring, contributing adult. For more information about PCANC contact Maureen McKeon, Director for Communications at
or (919) 256-6616.