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Special Time (Paul and Gabriel)
Some people call it Special Time, some call it Floor Time, some call it PlayTime. Whatever the name, it means setting aside one-on-one time to follow your child's lead and do what they want to do, without putting half your attention on dinner or work or siblings or worries. For an hour or so, you can enter play mode with a little extra enthusiasm, and say "yes" instead of "no" as much as possible. When I first wrote about PlayTime, I sent a draft to my friend Paul, who tried it out with his four-year-old son. Here's what he emailed back to me afterwards:

"A list of things I did NOT say to Gabriel during our first official "PlayTime" today:
* No, you may not take the tops off all 16 markers - they'll dry out.
* No, you may not play with the chisels, they're too sharp.
* No, we can't swim in the big pool - the water's too chilly and it's cold and cloudy outside.
* No, you can't go in the deep end - that would mean I'd have to get all wet and it's too cold for that.
* I'm freezing [Actually, I kind of cheated on this one - I suggested that when he was ready to go in, we could have hot chocolate].
* No, we can't take the train into town.
* No, I will hold the ticket, so it doesn't get lost.
* No, we can't go to the Aquarium this late in the day - it will be very crowded.

We went to the Aquarium. It was great. Gabriel can't wait to have PlayTime again. Neither can I."

I think Paul got the idea! DO try this at home, and let me know how it goes.
 

Larry Cohen
phone: 617-713-0568

email: larjack@playfulparenting.com

 
Larry Cohen
1680A Beacon Street | Brookline, MA 02445 | Tel/Fax: 617-713-0568

email: larjack@playfulparenting.com