Educational psychologist: If there’s one skill you ought to teach your kids, this is often it

There are numerous ways to assist a child’s learning and development, but one leading educational psychologist says there’s an easy aspect that’s “intrinsically valuable” to fostering basic skills.

Dan O’Hare, founding father of Edpsy, a web community for educational psychologists, told CNBC via video call that professionals within the field had recently talked tons about the importance of play for a child’s learning and development.

O’Hare said that play was often seen as a “means to an end” to demonstrate a child’s social skills, for instance , but added the activity was also “intrinsically valuable” in an unstructured form.

Unstructured “child-directed or child-led” play was essential because it lets children develop their own imagination, he said.

O’Hare explained: “Often i feel there’s a view sometimes that there’s a right thanks to play which right thanks to play often seems like twiddling with other children during a cooperative game, but you would like to possess quite lot of skills to urge thereto stage and truly with younger children, it’s entirely normal for younger children to play by themselves or play next to a toddler .”

He said it had been important to acknowledge the talents that independent play helps a toddler to develop, like motor skills, also as negotiation and conflict management skills.

Even “rough play,” which O’Hare said parents are often quick to prevent , could help development in terms of allowing a toddler to find out “how to manage their body, strength, balance [and] risk,” for instance .

O’Hare mentioned research published in 2019 by the University College London’s Institute of Education, which found that schoolchildren aged 5-7 had 45 minutes less break time than kids in 1995. The research concluded that shortening school break times in England might be harming children’s development.

The importance of boredom

O’Hare also argued that oldsters shouldn’t look to fill all their child’s time with activities.

“Having down time, having time where’s there’s boredom is really pretty good, in terms of managing and learning to entertain yourself, to be creative, to problem solve,” he said.

That’s because research has associated boredom with increased creativity. as an example , a study published in 2013 by academics at the University of Central Lancashire suggested that undertaking an uneventful task could help someone come up with a more creative solution to a drag because their mind had been ready to wander.

O’Hare said often parents might feel obliged to fill a child’s time with activities, and stressed that he wasn’t arguing against children undertaking extracurricular activities, but said that “self-regulation” might be beneficial for developing certain skills.