Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pretend Play

“We reconstruct our identities on the other side of the looking glass” - Sherry Turkle

Imaginary play is one of the hallmark characteristics of childhood and Julia is not the exception.  Long before she could even speak,it was plainly evident in her individual play. Today, pretend play dominates most of the interactions she has with other children. 

Meanwhile, I am only beginning to understand how crucial this type of play truly is, in that it allows her to practice all kinds of interactions in a non threatening environment.

One of her favorites spots for it is the shower, where she can spend a good 45 minutes pretending she is at school or in the playground. She will imagine she is the teacher by calling roll or directing some activity, she sometimes acts out a scene out of the previous day with a friend, or put one of her babies in time out when she refuses to do as she is told [pretending to be her mommy].  In watching her, I can see how she is decoding her world and it is such an eye opening experience.

This past Friday was a great day for pretend play. 

Julis went to school as a farmer and even came back with some fruit. 

She had so much fun she refused to part with her hat or her boots at nap time.

Finally agreed to change only because she and her neighborhood friends were given the chance to dress up.

Our pumpkin dressed as snow white.

The whole gang was there

 High heels and all

 Even a lip stick mustache, she was very proud of.

I can´t help but wonder at what point exactly it is, that we loose our ability to openly and publicly imagine ourselves in a different reality and while pondering this, realize that my own profession [psychology] frowns [to put it mildly] at the practice. In fact, we [psychologists] usually strive to have people come to grips with reality...

Today, I am grateful mom trumps psychologist, because playing make believe sure is fun!

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