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